In 2020, California State Association of Counties honored significant and innovative programs from 25 counties. Stanislaus County’s Animal Services Agency was a recipient of an award for the lifesaving pet foster program, Fosters Saves Lives.
Stanislaus Animal Services Agency, a collaborative agency which services Stanislaus County, the Cities of Modesto, Ceres, Patterson, Waterford and Hughson, represents one of the largest pet shelters in the Central Valley with an average of 400-500 pets to care for at the shelter, seven days a week.
In March, 2020, when the Agency was forced to close their doors to the public, hundreds of shelter pets’ chances of adoption diminished. In response, the agency developed a sustainable pet foster program that will continue to be of great benefit to the shelter and the animals for years to come.
Facing the onset of a pandemic, staff at the shelter took immediate action to meet the challenge of how to care for stray cats and dogs with little to no volunteer help and reduced staffing. The solution was to identify community foster homes for the shelter animals and empty the kennels. The Animal Services Agency implemented an award-winning innovative Emergency Foster Program.
While this program was a solution to an immediate problem, these lifesaving measures positively impact the community pet population long term. Foster homes save pets lives, reduce expenses such as the labor to clean kennels, feed/water, and offer healthier social interaction.
The program drastically reduces medication expenses for kennel cough resulting from fewer animals at the shelter. Pets in foster homes are cleaner, happier and more socialized.