The Humane Society of Washington County (HSWC) is seeking new individuals and families to add to its network of volunteer foster care providers.
Particularly during “Kitten Season” – when intact cats reproduce at a more rapid rate and HSWC’s number of kitten intakes can quadruple – foster families play a critical role in helping reduce the number of animals in the shelter.
“Our shelter has a finite amount of space,” said Monica Bulat, Foster Care Coordinator. “Foster homes allow us to expand capacity beyond our walls and into the community! In fact, at this time we have more cats and kittens out in foster care than we have inside the shelter. Through our network of invaluable foster care families, we’re able to save more lives.”
HSWC most urgently needs volunteers able to foster mother cats and their kittens, and litters of orphaned kittens. These vulnerable animals typically fare better in a home environment, and in the case of newborn or young orphaned kittens, can require intensive round-the-clock care. Foster parents provide essential care, feeding, socialization, love and affection to their foster animals in order to set up each animal for success in a permanent home.
“While fostering involves great responsibility, it is also some of the most rewarding work you can do,” said Bulat. “These innocent animals fully rely on you, their caretaker, for survival. Watching them grow until they’re ready to be adopted into a forever home – and knowing you made that possible – is a powerful feeling that’s truly hard to convey in words.”
In 2020, a total of 1,018 animals were cared for in foster homes. Of those, 757 were kittens.
HSWC fosters must be 18 years of age or older. They do not need to reside in Maryland, but must be able to transport their foster animals to HSWC regularly for routine medical care and in the event of an emergency. Training, support, and initial supplies are provided by HSWC, and expenses relating to the purchase of foster care supplies may be tax-deductible.