Animal lovers in the Northwest demonstrate remarkable passion and generosity for animal rescue and adoption. In some cases, a forever home is found only after months of rehabilitative care and nurturing. Dedicated foster families take in many animals, young and old, healthy and ill, and provide them respite from shelter life, as well as an opportunity to become more adoptable.
Many area shelters and rescues are often bursting at the seams with previously unwanted and neglected animals, and most rely on foster care in order for the system to work. While there are no hard statistics available on the number of animals currently in foster care, organizations such as the Willamette Humane Society (WHS) in Salem report that they have some 75-100 animals in foster homes in any given month. Oregon Dog Rescue (ODR) of Greater Portland says they regularly place more than 40 dogs in foster care monthly, while Sherwood’s Cat Adoption Team (CAT) foster families provide homes for more than 1500 cats and kittens each year.
Following is an exploration of how pet foster care works and what makes an ideal foster parent. It is this writer’s hope to inspire and inform those with little or no experience to consider fostering . . . who perhaps will find the experience not only a great fit, but an extraordinary experience that enriches times two: their lives, and their fosters’.
Graduating this year with a 3.3 GPA from Beaverton High School’s International Baccalaureate program, you could say Jill Wardrop is a good student. As the three-year president of her local Becca’s Closet chapter — an international organization providing dresses and accessories to high school students who can’t afford these things for prom — you could say Jill is a social advocate. Taking all that and adding in her work in the animal community, these categorizations don’t do her justice.
“It’s this whole, crazy dog world! I never knew I’d be a part of it, but here I am . . . in the middle!” she says.