Ever thought about fostering an animal? Well, maybe we all should.
On July 27 House Bill 2915 was signed into law. HB 2915 stops new pet stores in Oregon from selling puppies or kittens and phases out sales of these pets in existing stores. Puppy mill type settings can result in animals being abandoned or killed, and the animals live in cramped cages most of their lives. HB 2915 aids in the responsible adoption of animals, and can help animals prosper according to community engagement and events manager of Greenhill Humane Society, Sarah Bouzad.
This is where fostering animals comes in. When asked about why fostering animals is so crucial Bouzad says that, “As a foster parent, you get the pleasure of watching an animal blossom and grow in ways you could never imagine physically and emotionally.” She adds, “The dog I personally fostered was hit by a car and needed a safe, quiet space to recover in while providing lots of love, enrichment and supervision to ensure he was healing.”
Fostering animals is one of Greenhill Humane Society’s more successful programs, with more than 600 pets fostered every year. Foster pets may need care from weeks to month, with the option of the foster parent being allowed to adopt as well.
Foster care is critical for animals in need such as feral kittens who need to be socialized, puppies and kittens who are too young to be spayed/neutered and animals who require medical treatment for illnesses such as kennel cough.
Eugene Weekly’s own editor in chief, Camilla Mortensen, has been an avid foster parent for dogs and horses. “I like fostering because, when I fostered in the past, I found really nice dogs, really nice homes,” Mortensen says. ”It is also really nice to find a dog a home and see someone really happy with the dog.”
Every single animal Mortensen has fostered was eventually adopted by someone else, the exception being Mortensen’s rescue pit bull Biggie from Los Angeles. Mortensen and Biggie entered The Joriad North American Truffle Dog Championship in 2015, where Biggie made it out of the first round, even beating out other dogs who had proper training in truffle hunting.
When asked why Biggie was not put up for adoption after foster care, Mortensen said, “We had definitely formed a bond.”
Fostering animals also frees up space at the respective animal shelters to bring in more rescue animals. Foster care gives a second chance to the animals, with the end goal of adoption in mind. Many local animal rescues seek people to foster animals, including Cat Rescue and Adoption Network, Northwest Dog Project and Wiggly Tails.
Greenhill says its foster program is extremely flexible, with the ability to foster if you already have animals of your own, the ability to foster in a rental home with approval from the landlord. Greenhill provides the supplies to take care of the animals such as baby bottles, towels, blankets, onsite medical care and vaccinations for the animals and proper training to take care of the animal.
Greenhill also has contracts with the cities of Springfield and Eugene as well as Lane County to operate as an animal shelter. Greenhill’s programs include fostering animals, crisis care boarding and spay/neuter surgery for free roaming community cats. According to Bouzad, Greenhill has reunited 582 lost pets with their owners in 2023 alone.