June is National Foster a Pet Month, helping raise awareness about the importance and benefits of fostering animals in need. Each year, Larimer Humane Society receives hundreds of animals who need time to grow or recover from injuries or illnesses, or require socialization and behavioral training before they can be placed for adoption. Our shelter is very fortunate to have a large pool of Foster Volunteers who, with the support of our Foster Care Coordinators, open their home and give certain animals the love and care they need before being adopted.

We visited with Kayla, one of Larimer Humane Society’s many Foster Volunteers who is currently fostering three kittens – Tempah, Tofu, and Trevor – in her Fort Collins home. “Caring for these tiny animals has been such a rewarding and pleasant experience,” said Kayla.

To start, Kayla welcomed two little kittens who needed nursing assistance, socialization, and enrichment to aid in their growth. Given a “bottle baby” kit loaded with necessary supplies to feed and support her fosters, Kayla worked with them to gain weight and learn independence skills. About a month later, another tiny kitten (Trevor) was in need of a home and Kayla graciously welcomed him as the “third wheel” to their loving home. “It was fascinating watching Trevor go through the bonding process,” said Kayla. “The first day, he wanted nothing to do with Tempah and Tofu and kept to himself. The second day, he seemed obsessed with them, yet they wanted nothing to do with him. The third day, they were all into each other and became best friends!” Moments like these are what remind us that the main purpose of this program is to promote growth, connection, family, and love.

Many avoid fostering because they don’t know how, don’t have the experience, or are hesitant to jump in without having every detail about the animal. This is where the Foster Care Coordinators at Larimer Humane Society come in, striving to be as helpful and inclusive as possible during everyone’s fostering experience. “I never feel alone while volunteering at Larimer Humane Society,” said Kayla. “They ask for updates every day, and even want to hear about the “not so great” updates so that they can learn about the situation and offer support as needed. I have felt very supported during the entire process.”

Kayla’s experience of fostering has opened up a whole new door for her, motivating her to take action and provide information and inspiration to all foster pet parents. Packed with resources, stories, recommended supplies, and more, Kayla’s website aims to encourage anyone, who may have just the smallest bit of curiosity about fostering a pet, to give it a try and know that they have a supportive community backing them.

A big thank you to Kayla, and to all of Larimer Humane Society’s Foster Volunteers, for providing a safe and loving home for those who just need a second chance to show how awesome and loving they truly are! If you would like to learn more about our Foster Volunteer Program, visit our website at https://www.nocohumane.org/get-involved/volunteer/foster/. We will be hosting a Foster Volunteer Orientation (virtual) on Saturday, July 2 at 2pm, which is the first step to starting your fostering experience. Happy National Foster a Pet Month!