In honor of National Foster a Pet Month and National Adopt a Cat Month, officials from the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia are speaking out about the importance of pet fostering and adoption.
Executive Director Allison Mayfield said that while fostering a cat or a dog can be difficult depending on the situation, she said she believes the process is extremely rewarding.
“These animals are homeless,” Mayfield said. “So, to give that animal a chance at some respite … we do the best that we can, we have a great shelter, but there’s trauma and there’s stress. Fostering gives them a chance to get away from that.”
Kathleen Garrand, foster and behavior coordinator at the Humane Society, said they currently have about 45 pets in foster care, and about 70% of those are cats.
While Garrand said that practically anyone can foster a pet, the Humane Society tries to target an ideal, but rare, foster parent.
“We call them unicorn fosters, and they are married or single, no kids, no pets,” Garrand said. “That’s, in a perfect world, ideal.”
However, Garrand said that they also have college students, senior citizens, and families involved in pet fostering.
If you are interested in becoming a foster at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia, Garrand said the process is straightforward.
“We have our application online, we also have an online orientation,” Garrand said. “You just fill out the application, I respond … the Department of Agriculture requires a home inspection.”
If you are approved to foster an animal, the Humane Society provides all the necessary supplies at no charge.
Currently, the Humane Society is in search of fosters for heartworm-positive dogs, large dogs, moms with babies and orphan kittens.
Mayfield said the Humane Society offers varying levels of fostering, including options that last for a few months, as well as “exPAWditions,” and “Slumber PAWties.” The exPAWdition involves taking a dog from the Humane Society on a day field trip, while the Slumber PAWty is a two-night “sleepover,” with a dog.
Of course, the Humane Society is always taking applications for animal adoptions. For a certain group of animals at the Humane Society, adoptions become a bit more difficult during kitten and puppy season.
“People come in and they want puppies and kittens, and I remember being that person too,” Mayfield said. “But, you know, adult animals come with this uncertainty. In addition, they’ve probably come through, especially if you’re adopting from a shelter, they come with a lot more trauma.”
Like the fostering process, Mayfield said the process of adopting an animal is as simple as possible.
“We ask questions … to make sure that we’re matching you with the perfect animal,” Mayfield said. “All of our adoptable animals are live on our website, and so you just come in and fill out an application, and then you’re done.”
If you are not interested in fostering or adopting an animal, but still want to help the Humane Society, you can visit their website for donation opportunities, or participate in the upcoming Restaurants for Rescues program.
From Monday, June 14 to Friday, June 18, 30 area restaurants will be donating a portion of their proceeds to the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia. Restaurants include Smoke House BBQ, Chicken Salad Chick, Left Nut Brewery and more. The schedule is available here.