By Bethe Almeras
Do you ever get so bummed out by events happening in the world that you think there are no good people left? Me too!
Need to restore your faith in humanity? Join the foster community! You will be amazed at just how many caring, thoughtful, and supportive people there are on this big blue marble of ours.
What fosters do for the animals at the Washington Humane Society (WHS) is nothing short of amazing, especially the kind souls that take in the really sick or injured animals, the frightened or fragile, or the senior pets who just can't seem to catch a break. But the thing is, the kindness and care isn't just given to the animals, but to the people as well. To each other - to each member of the foster community that decides to engage.
When I took home my first foster cat from WHS, I joined the WHS Facebook and email groups. I've been in plenty of online communities in my life, but never one that was this helpful. These people just want to help. Questions, suggestions, tips, sharing resources … you name it and it happens in this group.
I've seen people volunteer to help treat kitties with ringworm, give people rides to an event, cat sit, or just help each other brainstorm ideas to get their foster animals adopted. It's a place where victories are celebrated, losses are grieved, and each adoption is met with tears of joy and gentle recognition that it can sometimes be hard to let our babies go. And, of course, there are plenty of cute pictures and videos to laugh and smile about!
Because I am a part of this foster community, several times a week, I am reminded of how amazing human beings truly are, and can be, and for that I consider myself very lucky. So, if you have wondered about fostering, but have never been sure if you could handle it, I encourage you to give it a try.
You will be saving lives, helping your community, and if you choose to, be held up and supported by a great group of folks. And while you may never meet many of them in person, although there are a lot of opportunities to do that, you will consider them part of your tribe. And in this busy and sometimes harsh world, we all need one of those.
WHS is calling on individuals, families, and businesses to volunteer as temporary foster care parents for homeless cats and dogs. For more information on becoming a foster home, visit www.washhumane.org/foster or email firstname.lastname@example.org.