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Clover with Suncoast Humane Society’s Shelter Manager Katie Tipton.

Are you looking for a way to serve your community and make a difference? Have you fostered cats or dogs before? Are you willing to learn?

Fostering animals for Suncoast Humane Society can be a rewarding experience: You get to do something incredible for your local shelter and for an animal who needs you. The joy you will experience by opening your home and inviting a new dog or cat in is immeasurable. There are many animals at Suncoast Humane Society right now who need loving and committed volunteers to foster them for a variety of reasons.

There are kittens, cats, puppies and dogs that require human bonding, socialization, rest from medical conditions, and a quiet, safe haven until a forever home is found. Their need for a temporary home and the extra TLC is where you come into the picture. Suncoast Humane Society is searching for dedicated volunteers willing to help save animal lives by creating a foster alliance that will grow the current foster group substantially. If you have the desire to foster, and room in your home and heart, Suncoast Humane Society will provide you with education, direction, food, and medical and behavioral assistance. Volunteer fosters support the foster program by:

• Being committed to the overall mission of Suncoast Humane Society and the task of fostering an animal

• Being readily available for fostering an animal on short notice

• Being in communication with staff regularly throughout the duration of fostering the animal

• Being knowledgeable and willing to learn about taking care of an animal with special needs

• Being able to love and care for the animal, and able to let go when it is time

Suncoast Humane Society’s current foster program has been very successful. Fosters have performed above and beyond expectations, and they mean so much to the success of the mission of reducing the number of homeless animals in our community.

It’s extremely useful for fosters to learn the animals’ personalities, emotional and physical needs, and any potential anxieties. This information provides crucial knowledge for both the potential adopters and for the adoption specialists in their efforts to find the best possible forever family and home for the animals.

Suncoast Humane Society will be hosting an hour-long educational session this month focusing on how you can join the team and become a foster! This session is free to attend and will be 4-5 p.m. Thursday, March 26 at the Animal Care Center, 6781 San Casa Drive, Englewood. If you are interested in attending, please call 941-474-7884 to RSVP. To learn more about Suncoast Humane Society’s adoptable animals, programs, services, and different ways you can help, please visit www.humane.org.

Jeff Joyce is the Senior Behaviorist for the Suncoast Humane Society. You can contact him at jjoyce@humane.org or 941-474-7884.

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