Foster Volunteer Program
Foster caregiving saves lives
West Columbia Gorge Humane Society has a variety of programs to help in the housing, care, and adoption of companion animals. One of the most important programs is the Foster Volunteer Program. This essential service is provided by volunteers who are willing to open their homes to animals when they need short- or medium-term care and attention.
Reasons for placing an animal in foster care
- Animals recovering from medical procedures, such as spay/neuter, dental, or even amputations
- Pregnant mothers awaiting delivery
- Kittens or puppies with immune systems that are not strong enough for the shelter environment
- Animals who need special socializing or training
- Animals who do not do well emotionally or behaviorally in amid other animals in a shelter setting
- Relieve overcrowding when the dog or cat shelter has a large number of animal
Specialty Foster Caregiving: Some foster caregivers specialize in certain areas of animal care. For example, one foster home is particularly good in socializing shy adult cats, while another excels in caring for nursing orphaned puppies.
Temporary Foster-To-Adopt Caregiving: While we have permanent volunteers who foster our animals as needed, we often have ‘Foster-to-Adopt’ homes for animals awaiting adoption. These are people who can no longer keep their pet, or have rescued an animal and are willing to care for it until an adoption can be completed. This type of caregiving is ideal for people who want the company of a caring animal without making a long-term commitment to pet ownership.
Long-term Foster Caregiving: Although the number of active foster homes caring for WCGHS animals may vary slightly depending on the time of year, we have approximately 15 cat foster homes and 10 dog foster homes hosting at least 40 cats and 10 dogs at any one time. Our greatest need for foster homes is during the spring and summer, which are high-volume kitten and puppy birthing seasons.
Become a Foster Caregiver: If you are interested in joining our foster network, please contact us. Our Foster Care Coordinator will supply you with the appropriate forms, educate you on how to care for our animals, and visit your home to help ensure that you are able to offer the best environment.
Benefits of Foster Caregiving: Foster volunteer work is rewarding for many reasons. Heather, a volunteer cat foster, states that, “fostering animals from the shelter is a wonderful learning experience and lesson in giving for both me and my children.” More importantly for her, the ultimate reward is the knowledge that she made a difference in the life of each animal she has taken in.