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Lee County Humane Needs Fosters!

Many new dogs have been entering the shelter over the past few weeks, and we need the help of fosters to help clear space for incoming pets. Following the holiday season, shelters nationwide experience an increase in the number of new animals coming into the shelter. That number is expected to be even higher this year due to complications surrounding the pandemic.


How Fosters can Help Us at This Time


We need the help of fosters to help us open up slots for new homeless pets, give our longer-term residents a break from shelter life, and learn more about how our adoptable pets do in a home environment so that we can find the forever home that is best for them. We are incredibly thankful for all of our foster parents, who are integral to our success: fosters played an enormous part in our 95% live release rate for 2020, which was achieved even amid the significant challenges posed by the pandemic.


Many of the pets that fosters can help have already found homes many miles away but are waiting to be transported. Rescue organizations and shelters in northern states often have a greater proportion of adopters to homeless pets, which means that animals can find homes faster instead of waiting for long periods in overcrowded shelters. By partnering with rescues, shelters like LCHS can clear space to take in more local pets in need and help nearby shelters that are running out of kennel space.


Many rescue organizations are entirely foster-based, meaning that the animal will be spending their time at the rescue in a loving home rather than in a shelter kennel when they take in a pet. While LCHS and other shelters do our best to ensure that animals are as happy as possible during their stay with us, a shelter isn't an ideal place for pets to be in the long term. Even fostering for a few days can make a world of difference in the lives of homeless pets.


How to Foster with LCHS


Fostering is a lovely opportunity for people who love animals but whose schedule does not allow them to commit to a pet long-term. Those individuals can foster when they have more time to devote to a pet and can schedule to return foster pets when they become busier, need to travel, etc.


If you're not already an approved foster, please fill out a foster application at leecountyhumane.org/foster. Please give us 24 to 48 hours to review your application. We will send you an email notifying you that your application has been approved. At that time, you may contact us by emailing foster2@leecountyhumane.org to set up an appointment to meet potential foster pets.


Of course, if you are looking into adoption at this time, we have many wonderful pets who need forever homes! Please start by filling out an adoption application at leecountyhumane.org/adopt. Give us 24 to 48 hours to review your application, after which time we’ll either email you to let you know your application has been approved, or reach out if more information is needed. Once the application is approved, you may contact us by emailing lchs1140@leecountyhumane.org or calling the shelter at (334) 821-3222.


Helping Shelters by Working with Owned Pets and Through Independent Rehoming


Another way that pet owners can help shelters is to work with their owned pets that are experiencing issues. If rehoming is necessary, it helps shelters and animal control departments when the owners can independently find a new home for the animal whenever possible. By rehoming independently, pet owners can ensure that their animal doesn’t have to experience the stress of being surrendered to a shelter, where they’ll spend many hours a day in a noisy kennel. Please visit leecountyhumane.org/owner-surrender for more information on rehoming options.


By minimizing the number of pets coming into the shelter, we can ensure our ability to help animals in emergency situations, such as when they're stray and living in the elements, and when pet owners have emergencies such as serious illnesses, major safety issues between pets in the home, and other unavoidable situations when a pet needs a safe place to go as soon as possible.


We completely understand that pet ownership can be overwhelming, especially when pet behavior issues arise, or when life in general becomes stressful. Bringing a new pet home can cause significant anxiety for that animal, and new pets need both time and training to adjust to their new home. Thankfully, this transition can be made much easier through proven management methods.


Contact the Pet Owner Outreach Team for Assistance


The pet owner outreach team at LCHS is here to help pet owners who are experiencing problems with their animals. Email pethelp@leecountyhumane.org, and give us a summary of the situation. We'll reply with guidance and information from reputable sources to help you find a solution. Whether you're facing pet behavioral problems, financial difficulties, or have general questions about pet care, we'd love to hear from you. We can provide general guidance from reputable sources and can sometimes offer material support. We can also let you know about local and national external resources and organizations that may be able to help.


We can all play a part in helping local pets, whether by fostering, adopting, volunteering, donating, or keeping owned pets out of shelters.


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