“Foster For a Day” Introduces Dogs to Community
During the dog days of summer, the Frances R. Willis SPCA in Summerville established a new program: citizens may foster a shelter dog for one day in order to give the animal some exposure to the world, opening itself up to potential adopters and giving it a chance to get out of the pound.
“The program was a program our current shelter manager brought to us from past experience,” Cindy Chitty, First Vice President to the SPCA’s Executive Board of Directors, explained. “When approached, I immediately began contacting local businessmen, politicians and the like to get them on board.”
Since its beginning in July, the program has boasted success. Fosters have lined up to meet their temporary companions.
"The fosters have been very enthusiastic. They come excited to see what wonderful dogs we have available at the shelter and are grateful for the opportunity to share these dogs with their family and friends through social media,” Chitty commented.
Jim Bailey, Summerville resident, is just one of the fosters making a difference. Accompanied by an image of his foster dog, Mandy, he told social media “I am fostering this sweet girl for the day. She is very small and very calm. I will be returning her to the Frances R Willis SPCA this afternoon. Who do you know who needs a new baby?”
Potential adopters flocked to Bailey, some in his office building where the dog was being held and others online. Cindy Chitty of the SPCA does not yet know which dogs have been adopted as a direct result of the foster program, but based on Jim Bailey’s experience, the animals are already catching many eyes.
However, the animals and their temporary caregivers are not the only ones impacted. Shelter staff select dogs appropriate for the program and gather their bags for the day. The shelter provides fosters with food, bedding, and other necessities that may be required throughout the day. Though the foster is responsible for watching the animal and caring for it, the shelter makes it happen.
Although the program is currently limited to dogs, Chitty disclosed that she would consider opening it up to kittens under certain conditions as well. The Frances R. Willis SPCA has not announced an official end to the program, so those who are interested in fostering may submit an application online to meet their new four-legged friend at any time. For more information, visit summervillespca.org.