The LA Department of Animal Services reminds us this week that it’s gearing up for its busiest time of the year – the loud, nerve-wracking (for pets) Fourth of July fireworks season – and it needs YOUR help to foster shelter pets…before the explosions begin.
Every year at this time, city shelters experience a huge influx of lost and frightened dogs and cats. So Animal Services is asking for residents’ help BEFORE the holiday to make space for those new shelter visitors by volunteering to foster an animal already at a shelter…for just four days (or more, if you’re so inclined).
The fireworks will be in full swing by Friday, July 1st and by Monday, July 4th, LA City Animal Shelters will be filled to the brim with scared pets who bolted and couldn’t find their way home. They will be depending on DAS to help reunite them with their families.
But that also means that other great dogs and cats, who have been at city shelters for a while, could be at risk if if the shelters are filled to capacity. So the city is hoping to clear some space by enlisting an army of volunteers to foster those pets to make room for the new visitors.
Fostering really does help, and those who take in shelter pets – even for just a few days this weekend – will be (very literally) life savers. Last year, the East Valley Animal Shelter placed 64 dogs out of the shelter, through fosters, adoptions or rescues, before the holiday rush. Over the 4th of July weekend, 264 animals came into the shelter and no dogs were euthanized, thanks to the extra space that was made from the generosity of last-minute foster volunteers. LA Animal Services’ goal is to repeat this again and help even more pets this year at all six of the City animal shelters.
How do you volunteer? Just download an application at http://www.laanimalservices.com/volunteer/foster-program/ or go to the City animal shelter nearest you and ask for a Foster Volunteer application. Take your completed form to the shelter and you can start fostering right away.
Also, note that fostering is a great test drive to see what it’s like to have a four-legged addition to your home. If you’ve been thinking about adopting, but just aren’t quite sure – try fostering for a few days to get a sense of what pet ownership feels like. No long-term commitments, and every day you foster will help the cause.
The shelters are open Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. They will be closed on the Fourth of July. To find the shelter closest to you, see http://www.laanimalservices.com/shelters/ or call (888) 452-7381. The city’s heartfelt thanks will be nothing compared to the purrs and kisses you will get from your foster pet.
Finally, even if you can’t foster, please help spread the word about this issue. Share, post and print the Animal Services flyer with your friends, neighbors, co-workers, and members of your community.