Animal rescue organizations call on more families to foster


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Animal rescue organizations and facilities across the state are begging for more help as they try to save the lives of more cats and dogs.

The immediate need is foster families for a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks.

The Humane Society of Eastern Carolina is one of several no-kill rescue groups in the East.

“Once they’re here, they’re here until they find their forever homes,” said Shelter Director, Sistine Burgess.

Right now, the organization needs more volunteers so it can follow through with its mission.

“Puppy and kitten season is in full blast,” said Burgess. “Every shelter and rescue is swamped.”

In the past few months, the organization has taken in several pregnant dogs and cats. They’ve also taken in full litters without their moms.

“We have a very dedicated group of foster parents,” said Burgess. “But there is a core group that helps us so much and they’re all full.”

Kendall Maready of Winterville is part of the group. Over the past year she’s fostered at least a dozen dogs.

“It’s rewarding to me to spend that much time with them and get them ready and see them go to their forever homes,” said Maready.

She just finished fostering some of the nine boxer mix puppies with the North Carolina litter. They were surrendered to the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina earlier this summer. Maready and two other foster families split the litter so each of them had three.

Maready admits puppies are challenging, yet says it’s well worth it, especially with the help of her three other dogs.

“They can kind of learn the ropes from the other dogs. I love having puppy fosters and watching them learn to climb the steps or watching them learn to bark,” said Maready. “The first time they come over here, they’re all very timid and scared of the big dogs. After a day or so, they’re all romping around and playing together.”

While all nine puppies in the litter found their forever homes, it’s inevitable that another litter of puppies will need their lives saved too.

“I know I’m making them better prepared to be better pets for whoever they’re going to,” said Maready.

The Humane Society of Eastern Carolina knows fostering can be hard, yet it’s also fulfilling.

Staff members want more families to consider opening their homes to animals that need them most.

“Although it hurts to give them back, they’re finding really great homes and that opens you up to help someone else,” said Burgess.

The organization is hoping it won’t run out of foster options this summer because kitten and puppy season isn’t slowing down.

If you’re interested in becoming a foster with the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina, click here.

HSEC provides everythi ng your home will need including food, treats, toys and crates, if needed.

To become an approved foster family, you’ll need to fill out this volunteer form and attend a short volunteer orientation. The next orientations are scheduled for:

Thursday, July 27, 1:30- 3:00pm

Saturday, August 5, 10am-11:30am

Thursday, August 10, 1:30- 3:00pm

Saturday, August 19, 10am-11:30am

Thursday, August 24, 1:30- 3:00pm

Several other local animal rescue organizations are always in need of volunteers. Contact your local animal shelter or animal rescue organization to learn more about how you can help them in their life saving mission.

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