This post originally appeared for Michelson Found Animals in December 2019.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! If you’re looking to volunteer and spread some cheer this holiday season, fostering a pet is a meaningful way to help your local animal shelter. The hustle and bustle of the holidays offer pets a multitude of opportunities to escape the safety of their homes — meaning shelters can become especially full this time of year. As a result, your local shelter may have additional furry friends in need of temporary homes.
The great news? Fostering a dog (or cat) for the holidays offers you the opportunity to load up on quality time with an animal in need, while also doing something great for your local shelter! If you always dreamed of having a pet to share the holiday season, but can’t commit to adopting right now, fostering allows you to get in on the furry fun without the permanency of adoption.
In case you’re not convinced yet, here are all the reasons to choose to foster a homeless animal as your good deed for the holidays this year!
Shelters Need You
There are 3,500 brick-and-mortar animal shelters in the U.S. and even more rescue groups and organizations without a permanent location. Most of these are staffed entirely by volunteers, meaning they rely on people like you to take care of the animals who live there.
As shelter staff travel and take time off for the holidays, pet volunteer resources can become limited. Reaching out to your local shelter to offer your assistance as a foster for pets during the holidays takes an enormous weight off the staff’s shoulders, allowing them to enjoy the festivities without guilt or regret.
If your local shelter isn’t in need of fosters, you can also help homeless animals in other ways. Try committing to a monthly donation or setting up a collection box at your school or work. Every little bit counts, but we recommend contacting your local shelter to find out which supplies they need the most at this time of year.
Animals Need You
The holidays come with enough hustle and bustle for sensitive pets without the added stress of a shelter. However, the busy shelter environment can overwhelm some animals, who may find themselves overstimulated and undersocialized.
Fostering a dog or cat during the holidays offers them the gift of peace and quiet. Letting them chill at your place throughout the winter months allows them to relax, recharge and reset their habits, making them more adoptable when they return to the shelter.
Anyone who loves animals knows how special they make our lives. Needless to say, when you take in a homeless pet during the holidays, it automatically makes the season more memorable.
A foster animal isn’t just a guest in your home. For the time your foster lives with you, they become a treasured part of your family. Plus, holiday parties and visitors means more chances for others you know to fall in love with your foster, too — and for the animal to find its forever home!
Want to foster but don’t know what to expect? We can help you!
Fostering an animal in need is always a good idea, but it makes the holiday season extra-special for both your family and a furry friend. As you complete your holiday shopping this December, don’t forget to make a contribution to your local shelter. To make a donation or volunteer to foster a homeless animal, visit our Adoption Finder to locate a shelter near you.