HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — In 2019 alone, the Humane Society of Washington County had 760 animals in foster care, but fast forward to 2020, more than half of the animals available to adopt are currently loved by foster parents.
“We don’t have space for them all, so that’s when our foster care givers come into play,” said PIO Noel Fridgen. “They take them into their homes and make sure they’re given the care they need so they can eventually be old enough and be adopted and live out their lives in their forever homes.”
Fridgen says 50-percent of the Humane Society’s adoptable pets are already in the foster community. Most of the foster animals are young kittens just needing to become stronger to get adopted, but others are pets that need a place to recover from surgeries.
“A foster parent’s home is obviously the more ideal place for an animal to recover from surgery than the shelter,” said Fridgen. “We have such a great foster community throughout the tri-state area that helps us care for the animals in Washington County.”
With more people staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic, fostering an animal might be the perfect idea. But, a big idea brings bigger responsibilities.
“I’m the only person whose kids would say please don’t bring home anymore mom but they help me, my husband helps me and I just love it.” said Foster Parent Josette Sowers.
Sowers has been a foster parent for 13 years and has cared for over 800 cats. She says some days aren’t the easiest to get through, but has been the most rewarding experience of her life.
“It’s so heartwarming and heartbreaking but at the same time, I’ve had so many people ask how do I do it because I’m giving them back to go out to adoption,” said Sowers. “But, for everyone you take in, you’re probably saving 10 or 15 more.”
The Humane Society’s Foster Program is becoming more enhanced with clinics open to volunteers every Wednesday and every-other Saturday, so volunteers who might be nervous to start serving will never be left in the dark.
If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent, click here.