The Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Agency said it needs a lot more foster homes to help prepare its animals for life in the shelter, and ultimately for adoption.
SCRAPS’s special program manager, Janet Dixon, said the agency currently relies on about 60 volunteers who take in animals until they are old enough and healthy enough for adoption.
“Truthfully, we need like 700 to take care of all the animals we have,” Dixon said.
SCRAPS saw a huge influx of cats and kittens before Halloween and temporarily lowered its adoption fee to ease overcrowding at the shelter.
Those interested in fostering SCRAPS animals can apply at scrapsvolunteer.org. Dixon said the agency supplies all the food and medical attention the animals need, and animals do not leave the shelter until they are spayed or neutered.
“The foster program is an extension of SCRAPS,” she said. “We provide the financial support for the animals. You just serve as advocate for them.”
Dixon said SCRAPS takes in many cats and dogs that have been physically abused or hit by cars. On Monday night, an animal-protection officer rescued a puppy that had been left on the side of the freeway – trapped inside a plastic container.
Such animals tend to fare better when they are raised in foster homes, with more human attention and one-on-one care, Dixon said. The crowded shelter is a less luxurious place where it’s harder to socialize the animals.
“Imagine you’ve just got out of surgery but you have to recover in an airport,” she said. “That’s not very helpful to you.”
Volunteers foster animals as long as they’re able to – a few days, several months, sometimes longer. Volunteers must participate in a training session to ensure they can provide a safe home for animals.
“This isn’t a fly-by-night kind of thing,” Dixon said. “We are very particular about who we give our darlings to.”
Mindy Wright, who recently took in several feral kittens from SCRAPS, said fostering can be “a real big commitment,” especially with young animals that must be bottle-fed every few hours.
Wright, who works with the Spokane-based Humane Evacuation Animal Rescue Team, or HEART, urged the community to donate food, litter and other supplies to SCRAPS to support the shelter as well as its foster volunteers.
“All of those donations come back to the people who are caring for the animals until they’re ready for adoption,” she said. “The goal is to get them socialized and into a forever home.”
SCRAPS is at 6815 E. Trent Ave. in Spokane Valley. The shelter’s phone number is (509) 477-2532.
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