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Fostering Saves Lives

February 1, 2024

Shelters across the U.S. are currently overwhelmed.

The pandemic drove a massive interest in pet adoption. At least 1/5 of households adopted either a dog or a cat, with some adopting both!

While this is wonderful, many found their new animal companions difficult to manage when they returned to the office, or made career changes, or found inflation incompatible with the increased household expenses of animal companionship.

During the 2023 holiday season, sadly there were 250,000 more dogs and cats in shelters than in the holiday season prior. The statistics are overwhelming and those statistics don't account for the countless guinea pigs, rats, bunnies, and other animals that end up without forever homes.

You can make a difference.

The good news is: you can make a profound impact on the lives of animals in shelters, even if you are unable to adopt! Many shelters offer foster programs. Fostering animals alleviates space issues in shelters, provides animals with a safe home environment where they can thrive and exhibit their "normal" personality, and gives the foster guardian love, companionship, and the satisfaction of having made a true difference in the life of an animal in need.

Don't forget the little ones!

Fostering also enables those who may not have the financial capacity to adopt the ability to care for an animal at home. Most foster programs pay for all of the expenses incurred by your foster friend. This can be a critical element of fostering small animals, as they require specialized housing and food.

Across the country, pet stores continue to sell small animals even in places where the sale of dogs and cats is banned. The animals are sold without providing those buying animals the proper training and information. As a result, the parents of kids screaming for a small furry friend aren't expecting to manage a guinea pig for 5-7 years (or sometimes longer!), the daily cleaning required, or the exotic pet vet bills. This means many small animals end up in the shelter system or at rescues and are in need of loving homes and foster guardians.

Save a life today.

Take a look around your community -- there are often a number of shelters and rescues in need of your help. Your act of kindness could save an animal from depression...or even death. Can't adopt or foster? Consider volunteering. Even an hour or two a week can make a difference to an animal in need.

Unsure if a rescue or shelter you'd like to support is legitimate? We are happy to help you! Reach out to CWI at if we can be of assistance.

Jellybean, aka JB, a "foster failure" now permanently living at the CWI office.


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