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friendly advice: fostering a pet during COVID-19

Our Friendly Advice series features interviews with local professionals, business owners, and pet lovers on a wide range of topics that keep us awake at night.


COVID-19 has impacted almost every aspect of our society, including the unintended consequences for animals, especially those without a home. Animal shelters are presently facing a severe shortage of volunteers to assist with the feeding, walking, bathing, and playing of all the animals in their care.

As a substitute, shelters, and sanctuaries are seeking temporary foster homes for their animals. Since more people are presently confined at home due to the pandemic, fostering is a great way to alleviate feelings of isolation while also providing assistance to animals in need.

If you're considering fostering a pet, we spoke with Amanda Halle, a friend and foster pet advocate living in the city, to provide some insight into how to prepare for fostering and make the most of the experience.

Amanda recommends removing anything that could be chewed or potentially harmful to your new pet. Additionally, picking up rugs and designating a space for your pet, either a crate with a blanket and toys or a dog bed, is important.

If you choose not to use a crate, be aware that your foster may get into trouble, so providing chew toys is crucial.

It's important to understand that dogs will likely be scared and anxious during this transition, but it will manifest differently for each pet. Since their past experiences are unknown, it's essential to provide a safe and calm environment.

Remind yourself that you're doing an incredible thing for an animal in need and playing a critical role in their journey. While it may be difficult to say goodbye, the experience is rewarding and worthwhile. Typically, the minimum foster period is two weeks.

Finally, enjoy the process of caring for and providing affection to your pet. Building a bond with your furry friend can be immensely rewarding, and it will bring you a great sense of fulfillment to realize that you are making a constructive difference in their life.

- H&R 💙


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