JOHNSTOWN, CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ Plus) — The Humane Society of Cambria County has had to adjust because of COVID-19, but is still offering services like adoption and fostering programs.
Fostering can be long-term or even for a day, all up to the person fostering.
Jessica Vamos says fostering has a lot of benefits, such as providing a better understanding of how an animal interacts with others outside of the shelter.
“We can do all of the tests in the world here at the shelter and the second they go into a home…it’s a new environment, it’s completely different for them and they could have different reactions than what we had witnessed in the shelter,” says Jessica Vamos, Executive Director of the Humane Society of Cambria County.
Madison Leonardis has a perfect example of this when she fostered a dog.
“Whenever you brought another animal up to the shelter, she got very defensive because that was her home territory. Whenever I brought her home to my dogs she loved my dogs so taking her out of that situation at the shelter and bringing her into a home environment showed the people up at the shelter that she could be placed with another dog,” says Madison Leonardis.
Leonardis has fostered more than 20 animals and even gave two of those forever homes…and she continues to help.
“I can’t adopt anymore so my way of helping is to be able to foster and even if it is a foster for a day. That’s my way of giving back to the shelter for them doing so much for all of those animals.”
She says when fostering, you can visibly see a difference in the animal.
“It warms my heart to know that she was having a good time. I brought her into the house and she was excited. She jumped on the couch and her tail was wagging. She was just so happy to be out of the shelter and to go on a hike to get her legs moving.”
She adds that it’s a perfect time to try out fostering.
“If you’re having some trouble with your kids being in your hair and you need them to get out of your hair so you can focus on work if you’re working from home…this is the perfect time to get a dog or a cat for the foster for the day.”
Vamos says fostering also allows the shelter to free up kennel space and serve more animals when needed.
“Fostering is a rewarding experience, but that reward does not come without an effort being put forth by the foster.”
That’s why she reccomends researching the type of animal that you’re thinking of ahead of time.
For those interested, applications can be filled out online and more information can be found on their website by clicking here.