The shelter now has a foster program! We need fosters for medical cases (cats and dogs), underage kittens, nursing mom & litters, long-term dogs…Fostering can be until the animal recovers, gets adopted or rescued, short-term until a transport to a remote rescue group is ready to go, through the Wait Until 8 Program (form is here), or for a couch crashers weekend! In general, adoptable cats and kittens (those that are healthy and age 8 weeks or older), and smaller dogs & puppies are not available for fostering except as a transport foster because having having them at the shelter for potential adopters and rescues to see is the best way to get them out. The shelter’s foster application can be found here. Medical care, food, litter, crates, and other supplies are provided to shelter fosters!

Becoming a foster parent can be one of the best ways to help out our shelter pets. Many of the shelter animals do not show well in the shelter setting because of stress and fosters give them a chance to unwind as well as extending the amount of space available for our animals while they look for their forever homes. Fostering for the shelter also gives you an opportunity to provide photos of, and information about, how the animal is in a home that are invaluable to getting the animal adopted or rescued. (And, who knows–maybe you’ll fall in love and decide to adopt yourself–fosters are given notice if there are applications to adopt and can decide to adopt in advance of a meet-and-greet with the potential adopter.) Watch for our Foster Friday posts on Facebook at Athenspets – GA share photos of your foster animal to help him or her find an adopter or rescue! In addition, ask to join the Athenspets Volunteer Discussion Group on Facebook to better publicize your foster animal and learn how you can help with our efforts to improve the lives of the neediest animals in the Athens area and the people who love them!

In addition to fostering a shelter animal through Athens-Clarke County Animal Services, our local rescue partners like Athens Canine Rescue (dogs only), Circle of Friends Animal Society (dogs & cats), Three Paws Rescue (dogs & cats), and Athens Area Humane Society (dogs & cats) are always looking for great fosters to join their teams!

Fostering commitments vary from group to group, but the groups that work with us regularly provide all needed resources for the pet–food, crates, collars, litter boxes, etc.–as well as covering the cost of needed veterinary care. For more information, please contact the rescue group directly to inquire into its application process. The most important thing is to apply early to be a foster parent if you think you might be interested rather than waiting until the shelter is absolutely full since it takes a little time to get approved and set up. When the shelter desperately needs to move pets, rescues need already-approved foster homes to act quickly!