Foster dog

A dog at Greenville County Animal Care (FOX Carolina / Jan. 12, 2022).

GREENVILLE CO., SC (FOX Carolina) - Right now, Greenville County Animal Care is only taking animals with an immediate need.

That's due to a combination of staffing shortages, overcrowding in the shelter, and high demand for their services.

One way the community can help during this time is to foster animals.

"Pretty much anything that is available for adoption is available for foster as well," explained Paula Church, Greenville County Animal Care Community Relations Coordinator.

With the kennels filling up fast, the shelter is looking for foster families to give healthier dogs and cats a home as they wait to be adopted.

"When those animals come in and they're taking up a lot of space, it takes time away from the animals that really need to be here," said Church.

People, even businesses, can become foster volunteers.

"If we can help them and give them a little reprieve from whatever they're going through, I think that's a win," said Boiling Springs Fire District Administrative Assistant Shelby Alleckson.

The Boiling Springs Fire District has been fostering dogs at each of their fire stations since 2019.

For Greenville County Animal Care, the partnership, and fostering in general, has allowed their dogs and cats to meet more people.

"When we have animals out in foster homes, they're able to expose that animal to a whole new population of people that might never have visited a shelter," said Church.

For the fire district, dogs like 8-year-old Dawn at Station 12 also give back to the firefighters as they work their 48-hour shifts.

Dawn

Dawn the dog, who is being fostered at the Boiling Springs Fire District waiting to be adopted. (FOX Carolina / Jan. 12, 2022).

"They don't get to see their families that whole time so having an animal at the station is beneficial to our employees mental health," said Alleckson.

For those interested in fostering, becoming part of the program is free as Animal Care provides food, medical coverage, and more.

All you have to provide is time and love.

About 50 animals currently at the shelter can be fostered, with about 50 already with foster families.

There are a wide variety of animals that can be fostered and a wide timeframe of how long you can foster for.

In the end, the goal is to get every animal a permanent home.

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