(To foster a kitten like the one shown, contact Bideawee)

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NYC’s Bideawee pet shelter, one of our country’s most respected animal rescue organizations, has seen a recent spike in foster care applications, likely due to the excess time New Yorkers have on their hands as a result of COVID-19 disruptions.  As of last week, a call for 200 foster parents solicited an excess of 2000 foster parent applications and the number is still climbing.


Rise In Pet Foster Care Applications are a Nationwide Phenomenon


Bideawee is not the only shelter to see the uptick in foster applications. Shelters in Kansas City, Denver, Dallas, San Diego, L.A. and Atlanta have all seen a marked increase in pet lovers offering to care for pets while they are spending time in isolation.


Why Do Shelters Need Foster Parents for Pets?


Rescue organizations typically need foster care for animals when the following conditions exist:


Animals are waiting for, or recovering from, special surgery or illness


Shelter pets that require special surgery before they can be adopted may have to wait weeks before a surgeon is available.  Rescue organizations like Bideawee try to find foster care for these patients so that valuable cage or kennel space can be filled with another needy animal that’s ready to be adopted now.  Alternatively, rescue pets that are recovering from surgery or illness heal better when placed in loving, caring, foster homes.


Rescue pets can’t deal with the noise and activity of a busy shelter


Some dogs and cats just aren’t at their best in the shelter system.  Foster care gives especially sensitive dogs and cats a break from the noise and disruption of a busy shelter.  Once the pet is in a loving home, animal rescue workers and foster parents have a chance to see the true personality of the dog or the cat. Then they can match the pet to the perfect adopter.


“Kitten season” tests the resources of shelters


Stray cat birth rates spike between April and October of every year and the additional number of pregnant moms and newborn kittens tests the shelter’s ability to keep up.  Many of the animals that shelters place in foster care are newborn kittens that are too young to give up for adoption. Placing them in homes gives foster parents the chance to play with kittens (!!!) and frees up valuable cage space for animals that can be adopted today.


COVID-19 restrictions on workers slow volunteers and workers’ ability to care for shelter pets.


Currently, shelters are scrambling to understand how COVID-19-related disruptions will affect animal shelters.  In the face of not knowing how many people will be available to care for animals, shelters are trying to get ahead of potential issues by placing animals in safe, caring homes.


Qualifications to Foster a Pet


Every rescue organization has its own set of requirements to be a foster parent.  Bideawee has a robust foster parent program where applications are reviewed before suitable foster parents are selected, trained, and then supported throughout their foster care experience.


Do Pet Foster Parents Sometimes Adopt Their Foster ‘Child’?


Of course! But don’t be fooled into believing that foster parents are just wanna-be pet owners in disguise.  Some foster parents understand that fostering alone is an invaluable service.  Their efforts help shelters to care for more pets, to provide for special needs pets, and to better assess how pets will behave in homes once they are adopted.


Bideawee, An Exceptional Care Facility


You can be proud to live in a city that’s home to a rescue organization like Bideawee. At its core, Bideawee exists to foster the human-animal bond. The organization supports adopted pets and their pet parents throughout the life of the pet with one-on-one follow up, classes, and numerous pet healthcare programs. To learn more about Bideawee, visit their website.

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