The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia is one of 100 shelter participating in a foster challenge in order to get adult dogs and cats some quality time in a home for the holidays.
The Foster Express Challenge, or Foster Sleepover Program, is run by Maddie's Fund, according to Julie Edwards, executive director of the humane society.
"[The goal] is to get adult animals - dogs and cats - out of the shelter for a short period of time, whether it be an overnight or up to a week," said Edwards. "And the intent is to hopefully, give them some time out of the shelter so they can sort of decompress, de-stress, and also see how they are in a home so we can get valuable information to give to potential adopters."
But, sometimes those potential adopters are right in front of those pets. "We've had a couple of these that have been 'foster fails' and have actually wound up with the foster family adopting the animal they took home for a sleepover."
Edwards said having the home environment experience is incredibly important. She said sometimes, they'll have animals that are in the shelter for about a year, and compared it to the human work week and the weekend. "Those couple of days off really can help recharge and help relieve your stress so that you can be back in a more stressful situation and be able to face that and do well."
Anyone interested in fostering a dog or cat short term can do so as part of the challenge through January 10. Email Kathleen Garrand or visit the Humane Society's website for information on how to become a foster.