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Foster Feature: Riley

By Riley Thompson

In mid-March I decided that it was officially time for me to begin fostering animals through IndyHumane. Once I told my family and friends that I was planning on fostering the expected questions followed:
How are you going to give them back?
How much do you have to pay to take care of them? (no out of pocket cost, by the way)
What if they have accidents in your home?

While I understood their concerns, I had more important questions on my mind:
How can I help these animals get prepared for their forever homes?
Have I done enough research on how to train them so that they have a smooth transition to their forever home?
Is my space ready to ensure that they will remain comfortable and safe while they are with me?
I already knew that I was going to fall in love with them, and that there would be accidents, and it would be hard to give them back for adoption, but I also knew that this wasn’t the point of fostering. Becoming a foster relieves the shelter staff from daily care of an animal so they can focus on emergency cases or provide a break to an animal who has been in the shelter for an extended amount of time. The goal is to always unite the animal with their forever family, and that is a goal I can get behind!

My first foster experience was with two adorable 10-week-old puppies! They were both girls and I got to name them Lola and Roxie after two of my favorite songs. While they were in my home for two weeks we were able to work on potty training, crate training, walking on a leash, sit, and stay. It was so rewarding watching them learn to trust me, listen to commands, and be the best of friends together! They stole my heart and I am so happy that I was able to play a part in their adoption story. The girls went to great forever homes and I receive updates from their parents which makes fostering even more special. Watching animals that you fostered thrive in their forever homes is extremely rewarding!

After the girls were adopted, I began fostering a 9-month-old kitten, Android, who LOVED to play catch and could sit in my windows all day long – so adorable! My time with Andy was short, but he was one of the most loving cats I have met, and I am blessed to know how much love he is going to bring to his forever home.

If you are interested in fostering through IndyHumane there is a simple application on their website. Once your application is approved you will be invited to complete an orientation class with the Foster Care Manager, who presents an informative and detailed presentation about IndyHumane, their mission, and what you can expect as a foster parent. They even provide a foster parent handbook that answers any question you can think of during your fostering experience! They make sure you are prepared and feel confident before you get your first foster animal and are always so helpful when any further questions arise.

Right now was the perfect time to begin fostering. During shelter-in-place IndyHumane is trying to reduce the amount of staff physically in the shelter. Less staff means less onsite care available for the animals, so placing animals in foster homes was critical. Furthermore, it is expected the need is only going to grow due to spay/neuter clinics being temporarily closed. We will begin to see an increase in neonatal puppies and kittens coming in to shelters and needing immediate care.

Becoming a foster mom has been the best decision I could have made and am thankful for the opportunity IndyHumane has provided to me. Please consider submitting an online donation, or check resources that could be used in the shelter online. These animals are counting on you!