It is so heartwarming to see a shelter animal meet its forever family and finally go home, but if you’ve ever been part of an adoption team, you’ve probably heard some of the most common reasons for people not being able to adopt: “Oh, I’d love to, but I already have ten at home just like this” or “I wish I could but my spouse is allergic” and “You know, I would adopt, but my landlord doesn’t allow me to have pets.” The Oconee Regional Humane Society (ORHS) has come up with a way for everyone to help the deserving animals in our care and we’re enlisting the help of the Lake Oconee community, especially those that don’t have space for another animal, work a lot or just can’t have a pet right now.
We are pleased to introduce our In-Shelter Foster Program. This is a way for anyone and everyone to help provide the much needed attention and TLC to animals living in a shelter environment. The dogs and cats selected for this program are those that would typically be placed in off-site foster care but, for whatever reason, leaving the shelter just isn’t possible. These animals typically have behavioral issues, are shy by nature, or may have simply retreated into the background of shelter life due to a submissive personality. It would take so little to make such a huge impact on their day-to-day life.
So, how does it work? It's very easy and all it takes from participants is a little time and dedication. As with a traditional foster program, ORHS contributes everything the animal may need but, in this case, we also house the dog or cat, take care of feeding and all of the animal’s day-to-day needs.
You volunteer to spend a specified amount of time during a particular week with a shelter animal of your choosing. We have pre-determined the cats and dogs that would benefit most from this program. You are then the official foster parent for that animal.
The amount of time per week necessary for this program will vary based on the particular needs and issues of the animal you choose. This would all be discussed prior to your commitment.
Interaction with your foster animal might include brushing, petting, playing, exercising and/or occasional feeding. We will help tailor your visits and foster care time to the specific needs of the chosen animal.
That’s it! ORHS provides everything else. We feed, clean, provide medical care and everything else your animal might need. There are just a few things we ask you to consider before committing to this program.
The animals needing this type of care will be challenging to work with. Whether they are excessively shy, temperamental, have health issues or have somehow just “fallen through the cracks” when it comes to socialization, the animals needing your attention are chosen for a reason. Those that come running to greet you will NOT be a part of this program.
This program only works when the volunteer is truly committed to improving the life of a particular animal.
Sometimes it’s the quality of time spent with the animal, rather than the quantity, that makes the difference. The cat or dog you choose to foster may respond differently based on his or her particular needs and socialization/behavioral issues.
If you have questions, would like more information about our In-Shelter Foster Program, or if you would like to participate, please notify our Volunteer Coordinator by calling the shelter at (706) 454-1508. Our dogs and cats look forward to seeing you!