An increasing number of animals have been given up to the BC SPCA this year, according to Lindsay Baker, senior manager of volunteer resources.
This increase has led to a surge in the need for people to foster animals, Baker said.
“People are seeing the need in the communities for fostering and recognizing that any animal can benefit from being in a home rather than a shelter environment.”
According to Baker, many myths stop people from caring for an animal.
“People sometimes think that it might be expensive for them. But they might not realize that the BC SPCA provides all our foster volunteers with supplies, support, and food,” Baker said.
The SPCA also offers medical care for fostered animals upon request, according to Baker.
Scientific research proves fostering animals benefits both pets and humans, creating pride and purpose, according to Baker.
“We form bonds with the animals,” said Baker. “It helps when it’s time to send them off to be adopted.”
A person can do multiple types of fostering, and all can help the animal and owner.
“For example, during the wildfire situation, we had people that needed to evacuate, and they needed a safe, temporary loving home for their animals.”
The advantages of being in a home versus being in a shelter can be numerous, said Baker, and allows the animal to socialize better.
Animals of all shapes and sizes are fostered, including birds, rabbits, and horses, according to Baker.
“It’s heartwarming that so many people care so deeply about animals and are willing to open their homes to, you know, animals in need.”
There is a risk of getting attached to the animal you are fostering, and it can be challenging to let go of that bond.
The good news is you can adopt the pet if you want, said Baker.
“I adopted a dog named Phil. I had been fostering him for four weeks. And then he became available for adoption. And I applied to be his adopter, and I was selected.”
Anyone can foster, said Baker, but they must be at least 19 years of age and be able to transport the animal if they need care.
“Fostering improves health outcomes for people as well and to, you know, reduces isolation and enhances those feelings of connection as well.”
If you have no experience with animals, don’t let that stop you said Baker.
“Just bring the desire and willingness to help. We will provide support training, resources and supplies.”