When A Life to Live rescues animals from the threat of euthanasia at Baytown Animal Shelter, that’s only the first step to ensuring they find their forever homes.
Before these dogs and cats can be adopted, they need a safe environment to live. And that’s where foster families enter the picture.
Through our foster program, volunteers open their homes to provide shelter, food, water and care until the pet is adopted.
“We can’t do what we do without our fosters. Without our foster program, our adoption program wouldn’t exist,” said Jay Garrett Jr., founder and executive director of A Life to Live.
Because A Life to Live has no physical facility to house the rescued animals, we rely on the kindness of people in the community who open their homes to these dogs and cats.
One such person is Anna Balentine of Baytown, who has fostered a number of dogs over the past year. “I would foster cats, too, but my mother and I are allergic to them,” she said.
Taking on the foster role was an easy decision for Anna.
“I just love animals. I think every animal deserves to have a better life instead of being stuck in a shelter and having a chance of being euthanized,” she said. “Every animal needs a home, needs people to love on them and needs people that they can call their family.”
A Life to Live has more than 25 foster volunteers caring for about 60 animals, according to Rocio Arreola, foster coordinator. But we can always use more people who are willing to provide temporary homes before the pets find their permanent families.
Fosters receive all the training, supplies and other support needed to care for the pets under their supervision.
“You just need a big heart and the mentality that you’re giving them a chance to better their lives,” said Anna, 26, who gets help from her mother, Cheryl.
“The biggest challenge for me is letting them go when they’re adopted because I fall in love with every one of them. I get so attached to them, but I know they have a chance to join a good family and enjoy a better life.”
Anyone interested in becoming a foster can apply at www.adopttosave.org/foster.
Other volunteers also are needed to assist with a variety of tasks, ranging from helping at adoption events to trapping and transporting community cats to providing photography and videography expertise. To learn more about volunteer opportunities and to apply to become a volunteer, go to www.adopttosave.org/volunteer.
Written by David Berkowitz, public relations coordinator.