Watch Tip: Foster Pets for Storm-Stricken Families

Posted on April 30th, 2011 by Anna Nirva

Watch Tip LogoBe prepared to help companion animals and their families in communities that have been devastated by tornadoes, floods, and fires. If your home has been spared, offer to foster pets for those families who have lost their homes. Animal shelters quickly become overcrowded and euthanasias skyrocket. Not only are you helping a needy family, you are helping keep a life-saving kennel open. Please help.

Foster: Be a hero to a storm-stricken family and a life-saver to their pet

Imagine that a disaster has struck. You have lost everything! Yesterday your life was normal and today everything is GONE. Your home, your belongings and valuables, your family photos, your favorite slippers, your grandmother’s antique clock. You may have injured children in the hospital—or even worse. Your home is an ugly pile of rubble. It is a TOTAL DISASTER. Where will you go? How will you take care of your family? How will you take care of your cats and dogs? … And these life-changing decisions must be made immediately!

Imagine how relieved you would feel if you knew someone could help you by caring for your pets for a short time. You could find shelter without dealing with restrictions for pets. You could avoid surrendering them to a shelter, perhaps saving their lives. You would feel secure in their safety. And that special foster family would be a hero to you.

Please, if you are one of the lucky ones that survived the disaster without damage or injury, open your home and heart to those less fortunate. Foster a pet or two. How can you get started? First, think about your home and lifestyle and then make a decision on what foster help you can reasonably offer for a period of one month.

  • Call your Red Cross and offer to foster pets for a homeless family victimized by the disaster
  • Call your shelter or pound with the offer
  • Call your church or school

Be sure to get complete contact information and vet clinic information for the pets you are fostering, and do discuss what to do if the pet becomes ill. Remember, the owners must make veterinary decisions for their pets. Encourage the family to visit their pet, unless it becomes apparent that the pet suffers unreasonably from those visits. Plan to call the family once a week to keep them informed about their pets and keep up with their plans to bring their pets home.

Can you also help by donating pet food to your shelter or local food pantry? Remember it is people like you helping neighbors that truly make the world a better place.

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