A temporary home for Ibis and her kittens
Foster volunteers needed for special cases
The one-year-old brown and orange torbie cat was fortunate to arrive at Animal Humane Society when she did. Her kittens were welcomed into the world in a comfortable place with food, shelter, and experienced veterinary staff. The mother cat and her kittens were then placed with a foster volunteer so they could spend several weeks together before going to the adoption center.
The cat, named Ibis by AHS staff, and her kittens went home with Steve, an Animal Humane Society foster volunteer who made sure that they all stayed healthy and that the kittens nursed and gained weight. He brought them in to the shelter for vaccinations and check-ups. Once they were big enough for adoption, they returned to the shelter once more for spay/neuter surgery before making their way to the adoption center where they all found new homes within days. A short while later, Ibis was also adopted into a home of her own.
Steve is one of more than 300 foster volunteers at Animal Humane Society. Last year, 2,962 animals were cared for by foster volunteers until they were ready for adoption. This includes cats, dogs and rabbits that recently gave birth, baby animals that need to gain weight before surgery, and animals recovering from medical treatments.
The average length of stay in a volunteer's home is three to four weeks and during that time Animal Humane Society provides the supplies needed to care for the animal. Volunteers can specify which of the five sites from which they will take animals and the types of animals they wish to care for.
“Fostering has allowed my two daughters to grow up around dozens of different animals and develop the skills and compassion for caring for pets,” says Steve. “I also get to make a small investment of my time that will be reflected in a higher quality of life for the animals I foster and for their adoption families for years to come. By committing a few weeks, I’m helping these kittens grow into cats that make terrific pets!”
Animal Humane Society Foster Coordinator Kelly Anderson says the need for foster volunteers is always there, but it's especially high in the summer months. "The number of animals that need foster care increases dramatically when the weather gets warm and we start seeing more and more kittens. Last year more than 2,100 of the animals placed in foster care were felines," says Kelly.
She says the goal of the foster program is to have a home available for every animal needing that extra one-on-one care before they are ready for adoption. Click here to learn more about becoming a foster volunteer and to fill out an application.
We know that spay/neuter is ultimately the best strategy for reducing unwanted litters. That’s why a key priority of Bound for Home is to make spay/neuter available for those who lack resources to sterilize their pets. Kindest Cut’s mobile affordable spay/neuter service launched this spring with support from some of our very first donors to Bound for Home. Yet the mobile surgical vehicle alone will not be enough to have a lasting impact on the number of homeless animals in our community.
The next step is to create a community clinic where Kindest Cut will provide sterilization services for enough pets to meet the need for affordable spay/neuter in the Twin Cities area. Your support for Bound for Home will make this possible and prevent animal homelessness for years to come. Thank you!
Is your animal-loving child eager to get involved at Animal Humane Society? They can make a difference in the lives of animals by joining the PetSet Youth Club. This club is designed for kids in grades 5–8 who want to learn about animal welfare issues through fun activities while developing volunteering and community service skills.
The PetSet Youth Club allows youth to play an active role in choosing, developing, implementing, and evaluating the work they do for the animals in their community. “Most kids sign up for PetSet Youth Club because they are too young to volunteer but they still want to help the animals in the shelter,” says Holly Wetzel, humane educator at Animal Humane Society. “This club gives them the chance to do that and so much more.”
PetSet Youth Club activities vary each semester and encompass four main categories: learning, advocacy and public education, volunteer skills training, and service. Guest speakers such as a humane investigator or a wildlife rehabilitator may be brought in to talk about their role in animal welfare. The kids may get involved in animal advocacy by writing letters to their state representative about an animal welfare issue. PetSet Youth Club activities also focus on helping the animals in the shelter by organizing donations drives, feeding the animals, and creating behavior profiles for animals.
Registration is now open for the fall semester of PetSet Youth Club. Groups meet twice a month in Woodbury or Golden Valley. The membership fee for one semester (four months) is $50. Members may join throughout the semester and pay a prorated registration fee. To register for the PetSet Youth Club, or for more information about the program, please contact the AHS Education Department at (763) 489-2220.
With a passion for animals and scissors in hand, stylist Patrick Lomantini is setting out to tackle an ambitious goal. Lomantini hopes to set a world record by completing 50 haircuts in 50 states in 50 days. For a suggested donation of at least $20, haircuts will benefit local humane societies in each state. Animal Humane Society was selected to receive the donations from his Twin Cities stop on August 30.
Jungle Red Salon in Minneapolis will be hosting Lomantini during his day-long cutting extravaganza. To be one of the 50 people included in this world record setting event and support the programs and services of Animal Humane Society, call the salon at (612) 870-0653. It’s expected to take 12 hours for Lomantini to complete his Twin Cities haircutting mission with appointments beginning at 9 a.m.
This Saturday, horse trainers from across the state will showcase their skills by competing in the 2011 Challenge of the Unwanted Horse. Trainers have been paired up with rescued horses from the MN Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation (MHARF). The trainers will demonstrate for a panel of judges how they've taken a horse that no one wanted – a horse that came to them untrained and inexperienced – and, with the right amount of time and investment in training, turned it into a horse who is now a willing companion.
There will be cash prizes for the top trainers and a silent horse auction will be held after the challenge. Prospective adopters can talk with the trainers, meet the horses, and bid on the horse they want to adopt.
The 2011 Challenge of the Unwanted Horse will be held Saturday, August 13 at 9:30 a.m. at the Louise Leatherdale Center at the Universityof Minnesota. The entry fee is a non-perishable food item, toiletry item, or $5.00 donation.
The success of MHARF is crucial to the rescue work of Animal Humane Society humane agents. Through this partnership, MHARF takes in many of the horses we rescue from situations of cruelty or neglect, and cares for them until they adopt them out. At any given time, MHARF typically has around 80 horses in their care. Approximately 200 are adopted each year through an adoption process that ensures they go to good, safe homes.
Calling all creative animal lovers! Put your video-making skills to good use with GiveMN.org's "Does this make my heart look big" challenge. Create the winning video and you will receive a free MacBook Air for you and $1,000 for the animals at Animal Humane Society! Click here for all the details.
AHS Behavior and Training Manager Paula Zukoff tells us why keeping your cat indoors will make for a longer and healthier life.