Foster Me Home program helps pets
The forecast may not call for more rain this week, but certain showers continue: the cats and dogs kind.
It’s kitten season, which sheds renewed attention on not just the kittens, but all the animals in this area in need of homes and a little TLC.
In that spirit, the Mesa County Animal Welfare Partnership (MCAWP) is ramping up the Foster Me Home program, which seeks to recruit and create a database of eligible animal foster parents to provide temporary homes for animals not quite ready for adoption.
“This program is really to help reduce the number of pets in shelters and to save lives,” said Cyndi Amstutz, volunteer foster care coordinator for the partnership.
Foster Me Home is a pilot program with a goal of centralizing and streamlining animal foster care in this area.
Once a fostered animal is ready for a permanent home, Amstutz said, it will go to CLAWS, Grand Rivers Humane or the Roice-Hurst Humane Society, where it will be eligible for adoption.
The reasons animals need temporary fostering — whether it’s for a few weeks or up to a few months — may vary, Amstutz said.
The animal may have been sick or injured and needs time to recuperate.
“They may be orphan kittens or puppies that need neo-natal care because if they go into shelters and they have no immunity, they’re going to die,” she said.
“Or we may have senior pets that have been relinquished for one reason or another that don’t do well in a kennel situation and may get kennel crazy. That doesn’t make them a bad dog
or bad cat, they just need time to adjust, so you put them in a home situation and when they go to adoption clinics they’re happier.”
The minimum requirement for becoming an animal foster parent is being at least 18, Amstutz said, and beyond that, the application process, which includes a home visit, is designed to ensure that animals go to safe and healthy foster homes.
Once volunteer fosters are vetted, she said, they will be entered in the database and then contacted when fostering needs arise.
“This is the first time (animal foster care has) been regulated and it’s really, really important this is successful,” Amstutz said.
“We have so many people in our community who are already doing this, but we just want to make sure animals are safe and that they’re getting ready for their permanent homes.”
Those who are interested in becoming animal foster parents can email ac.dispatch@ mesacounty.us or call 970-210-6562.