We are absolutely jumping for joy, swinging from the rafters, shouting "HOORAY!!!" excited to announce that Town Lake Animal Center has expanded their foster program to include an array of dogs and cats needing more support, a break from the shelter environment, or simply those for which there is "no room at the inn!"
What does this expansion mean? In short, it means more lives saved, more kennel space available, increased behavior support opportunities, and a better quality of life for animals needing homes. In even simpler terms, it means that Travis, the adorable 2 year old black lab in the photos, is now eligible for foster after over 200 days at the shelter. A gigantic thank you to TLAC's Foster Coordinator, Sarah Hammond, as well as the many wonderful TLAC volunteers and staff who have helped make this expansion a reality.
In the past, foster through TLAC was available only to animals who were underage, sick, nursing, or injured. Those are all high need groups, but that policy still left out a lot of animals now being actively targeted by this new, expanded foster approach. Perhaps the very highest priority groups affected by this expansion are:
Long-Stay Animals: Animals cannot stay in a shelter environment indefinitely. Even those with the very best temperaments will eventually start to deteriorate, begin to develop "acting out" behaviors, or become depressed and despondent. Animals staying at the shelter for an extended period of time will now be given the opportunity to be adopted directly from a foster home.
"Pit Bulls": Bully breeds, often lumped together and labeled as "pit bulls," are largely over-represented in the shelter population. They are even more over-represented on the kill list and in the long-stay shelter dog group. On the day of the first Pit Bull Task Force meeting of this year, 7 of the 11 dogs killed at TLAC were labeled as "pit bulls" or pit mixes. We could spend an entire separate post talking about why this is, but the bottom line is pitties need our help. The Pit Bull Task Force and Love-A-Bull are spearheading the pittie-specific foster initiative and welcomed it's first beneficiary, CoCo Chanel, into foster directly from the kill list a few weeks ago.
What can you do to make sure this program is successful?
2. Offer Marketing Support!! Dogs and cats in foster need to remain visible to the public and potential adopters in order to find their homes. If you have photography, doggie bio writing, graphic design, or other skills that may be helpful (including a high traffic location willing to host a special adoption event or fundraiser), email [email protected] and please put "Marketing Help" in the subject line.
3. Save a Pittie, Save the World! If you'd like to be specifically considered for the "Pit Bull" Foster Initiative, email [email protected].
Looking for an extra large dose of instant foster gratification? Get Travis out of the shelter and into your home! He is a shiny black lovebug, who's spirit is miraculously strong and has survived this longest of long stays intact. He's a good boy, gets along with other dogs, loves running, swimming, and snuggling, knows his basic commands, and will make an easy foster (or adoptive!) addition to the home lucky enough to have him.
Let's get this foster program off on the right foot by changing Travis' life today!