Humane society seeks animal fosters ahead of potential surge in pet surrenders
The Humane Society London & Middlesex (HSLM) is searching for fosters as they prepare for a potential surge in animal surrenders first seen in shelters across the U.S.
Steve Ryall, HSLM executive director, says the shelter only takes in surrenders.
“We do not judge and we will always find a home for every animal.”
HSLM is currently housing 230 animals including dogs, cats, gerbils, rabbits, snakes and more.
At the height of the pandemic, many people sought out furry friends for companionship when working from home.
“Generally, we would have seen 25 applications for an animal…it probably doubled and maybe even tripled in some cases.”
But now a portion of those people are returning to work for the first time in 18 months.
Ryall says this shift is to blame for a recent uptick in animal surrenders first seen in shelters south of the border.
“What is happening in the United States is they are seeing a lot of animals being surrendered as people are going back to work and do not have the time for that animal…Through some surveys that Humane Canada conducted, we aren’t seeing it happening here yet in Canada but here at HSLM, we are preparing for that possibility.”
A sign encouraging support of the Humane Society London and Middlesex is seen in London, Ont. on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021. (Jordyn Read / CTV News)
Ryall says the best way to deal with a potential surge in surrenders is to recruit more fosters, which are people who take in animals for a temporary period until they find their forever homes.
“Maybe take some of the animals that are with us longer term and start putting them in foster care so we can accept more animals. Honestly the cages are full here, that’s why we need to grow our foster program.”
Mackenzie Landers has been fostering animals for more than a year, she calls the experience a rewarding one.
“I have always just loved animals and I find it really rewarding to give them the best possible chance that they have. Sometimes they come from bad situations and you don’t know what they have been through, but giving them a loving, comforting home is really rewarding.”
Ryall is searching for any new foster friends who could help, adding that the foster program is flexible.
He says he and his team will take all the help they can get to make room for more animals.
“We are always happy to see animals come in because we know they are in our care - happy and sad when they leave because we connect with them. But we are happy for them and their future.”
If you’re interested in fostering an animal at HSLM, click here.
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