NBC26 Cares: Animal Foster Care
We've all heard of foster care for children, but did you know that you can foster an animal as well?
Bette Parduhn Depas is crazy about cats. She's opening her Green Bay home and her heart to these special kittens in need. She's taken in 20 cats in just one year as part of the pet foster program at the Bay Area Humane Society.
"The cat that I'm taking home today has a little cold, and it's best to get them out of this type of situation so the other cats don't become ill," said Parduhn Depas.
A two-month-old kitten named Jeep will spend a couple weeks getting some tender loving care from Bette. Her three adopted cats at home will also provide the socialization that a young kitten needs. The Bay Area Humane Society is grateful for volunteers like Bette who help nurse their animals back to health and prepare them to be adopted.
"Without people like her to take on multiple in a year, we wouldn't be able to do it," explains Karen DeBaker with the Bay Area Humane Society. "Without the foster program, it'd be a lot harder to place some of these animals... Other ones unfortunately would be euthanized."
In addition to cats, the shelter also places dogs and other small animals such as guinea pigs and mice with foster families. Everyone who applies to care for a pet must pass a background check and complete an orientation process. Once approved, the only thing it costs the volunteer is their time.
"Everything is paid for. When you pick up an animal for the foster care, you'll pick up the medication they'll need to get healthier as well as any food or supplies that you need," said DeBaker.
For Bette, it's difficult knowing that she only has a short time with her new furry friend, but she says helping Jeep in her journey to finding a forever home is worth every minute.
"It's very rewarding for me to know that I'm making a difference for these animals, and that's what keeps us going and getting new ones. It's very, very rewarding."
The Bay Area Humane Society currently has 91 different foster families that help more than 450 animals a year, but they still need more volunteers.