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I love fostering Phinney’s animals, and so may you

October 4, 2012


As I sit at my computer, I have an extra furry face at my feet. Little Nuyuan the Shitzu needed surgery on his ear, and his owner was not able to transport him to the vet or provide for his early aftercare. So he has spent two nights with me, and will return to his happy owner later today.


He’s a sweet little guy who loves his family, but I’m happy he fits in with my pets as well. This is his second (much needed) visit to my home, and I am glad I can make it possible for him to be treated and heal, so he can go back to his owner as a healthy dog.


Fostering for Phinney’s Friends is a very rewarding way to help animals temporarily, until they can return to their families. Anyone who loves a pet understands the stress and expense involved in providing care for their animals in times of need. Boarding can be very expensive, especially when the pet needs medications and special care, and for people with low incomes it can be a deal breaker.


Nuyuan is not my first foster nor will he be my last. I have cared for both dogs and cats while their owners were hospitalized. I have also cared for several different animals who were temporarily displaced because of emergencies, such as an apartment fire and the big floods in 2011. All of these pets came in great need of a temporary home and some love, and they were all able to return home to their owners as soon as their situations stabilized. The effort to make them comfortable was very rewarding, and I cannot describe the joy these animals show when returned to their loving families.


This is one of the most important gifts you can offer to Phinney’s Friends clients, and fostering an animal is easier than you may think. Phinney’s Friends pays for all veterinary care and supplies necessary to foster an animal. So money to support foster volunteers is not a problem. If you have a spare bathroom, you may be able to foster a cat , for instance. If you have a room where you can isolate an animal, you may be able to foster a dog.


We get calls every day from people looking for a safe place for their pets for a short time — people who lost their jobs and their homes, people who need to go to rehab or have surgery. I hate to think about how many pets end up in shelters due to a temporary crisis, being forever apart or leading to unnecessary euthanasia. Sadly we are not able to help everyone because of lack of foster homes.


Please consider fostering. It will add some excitement and extra work into your household, but the results are well worth the effort. It is such a positive thing to see the pets go home. I am more than happy to talk to you if you are interested in giving it a try.


Starr Maxwell – Phinney’s Friends Client Liaison
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