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Catherine needed a comfy place to raise her kittens. Clover the rabbit needed somewhere to stay until she was old enough to be spayed. And Aurora the pooch needed a calm, quiet spot to relax in while her injury healed.

The one thing these Connecticut Humane Society pets all had in common? They got the special care they needed in volunteer foster homes until they were ready for adoption.

CHS is currently looking for new fosters at its three locations (Newington, Waterford and Westport) to assist more pets in need. Anyone interested in welcoming a pet into their home temporarily can learn more and apply at CThumane.org/foster.

Training is provided, along with everything volunteers need: pet food, treats, beds and blankets, veterinary care, toys, litter and litter boxes, leashes, and anything else you can think of.

Pets in CHS’ care are fostered for lots of reasons. For example, they may be too young for adoption, or preparing for a special medical procedure, or requiring more socialization in a home environment. Many pets wouldn’t get the fresh start they deserve without foster homes.

So far in 2021, 563 CHS pets spent time in foster care—including those in the new crisis foster program, which provides fostering for pet owners who can’t take care of their pet temporarily.

All types of pets coming through CHS doors need foster homes (cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, and even hamsters), and they can be any age.

The length of time a pet is in foster care varies, too. It could just be for a week, or it could be for months. CHS works with volunteers to accommodate their schedules and determine what type of pet they’re able to welcome as a houseguest. It’s a great option for people who can’t commit to owning a pet permanently due to work or travel schedules or other life circumstances.

Because so many pets arriving at CHS have medical conditions that warrant treatment, volunteers who’ve had that experience with their own pet or who’ve worked in the veterinary field are especially encouraged to become foster volunteers.

Foster volunteers must live in Connecticut, be at least 18 years old, have active health insurance, have experience with pets, own a home or provide landlord permission, and have the ability to keep their own pets separated from CHS foster pets if needed. It’s a great way for the whole family to make a difference in the life of a pet, as kiddos can help out with the pet’s care!

All CHS volunteers must commit to at least six months of service, during which fosters must take on at least one assignment. But most continue long after that. Like Anna Flynn.

“I’ve been a foster for about 20 years. I started with kittens and now foster puppies and mamas,” Flynn said. “To someone thinking about fostering, I’d tell them it’s a good experience especially if you have kids. Mine all grew up taking care of animals with me. It’s very soothing.”

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