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Pet Wellness

How to Help Local Shelters Through Pet Adoption and Fostering

Many animal shelters are struggling with staffing and veterinarian shortages, as well as an increasing number of animals who require specialized care.

Many animal shelters across the country are overwhelmed, facing too many animals and not enough adoptions. These challenges are only increasing as we enter kitten season — the time of year during the warmer months when cats typically give birth — leading shelters to urgently seek adopters and foster caregivers to provide lifesaving care to the growing number of animals in need.

The ASPCA is providing critical assistance to hundreds of rescues across the country at this time by helping homeless dogs and cats through relocation, training, sharing resources, and legislative advocacy. You can also play a role by supporting your local shelter, which might include providing an animal with a loving home or even getting involved as a volunteer.

Supporting animals in need

If you decide to open your heart and home to an animal in need by adopting or fostering — which helps shelters assist even more vulnerable cats and dogs — keep an open mind, ask questions, and rely on shelter staff for guidance. You might go home with a different pet than you initially considered, as shelter staff are uniquely qualified to match an animal’s needs and temperament to an adopter based on their experience, preferences, and lifestyle.

Another important step you can take is to help prevent an animal from ever entering a shelter to begin with. If you find kittens outside this summer, the ASPCA has an online tool to help identify the best next steps to support their well-being, which doesn’t always mean bringing them to a shelter if their mother is nearby taking care of them. To learn more about how you can support animals in need while supporting local shelters in your community, visit the ASPCA’s website.

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