Huntsville Animal Services (HAS) is issuing an urgent plea for adopters and fosters as it grapples with an influx of homeless pets.
The shelter took in nearly 60 owner-surrendered dogs and strays over the course of three days this week, which is nearly three times more than normal for this time of year. To help clear the shelter, adoption fees have dropped to $10 for most adult dogs, though some exclusions apply.
HAS Director Dr. Karen Sheppard hopes the public will take advantage of the low cost and “spring” some pooches from the shelter’s overcrowded kennels. For those who can’t adopt right now, HAS also offers a foster program as well as sleepovers.
“We’ve got so many good dogs that are so stressed in this environment,” Sheppard said. “Spring is a great time to explore the area and enjoy the outdoors, and what better way to do that than with a four-legged friend?”
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Interested in being a foster (pet) parent?
Maybe you are unable to adopt but are still interested in fostering a "good boy" or "good girl".
Huntsville Animal Services is still in need of foster families.
The most common foster home program is called Foster to Adopt. This program allows you a 14-day trial period with the dog and is for someone interested in adopting an adult dog, but would like to ‘test drive’ the dog at home. Although this is a very successful program, HAS warned owners that all new pets should be given at least 3 months to settle into a new home and new routine. Some pets like puppies, kittens, small dogs, and others may not be eligible for this program.
The newest foster home program is called a Sleep-Over. This program allows the fostering party to take home a pet for 1 to 4 nights. Upon returning the pet to the shelter, the fostering party will complete a form sharing all the information collected about the pet during their visit including information such as: did the pet like other pets, housebroken, tolerates cats, likes children, etc. This program helps HAS develop a profile for the shelter pet.
Another foster program called the Foster to Rehome program is for sick pets, aged pets, and underaged puppies and kittens. Additionally, sometimes a fostering party takes care of the dog until it becomes adopted. These volunteers take appealing photos of the pet inside a home and along with a narrative about the pet’s personality are submitted to be posted on the HAS Facebook page.