Shelters Offering Foster Pets And Free Food To Boost Morale During A Muted Thanksgiving

The pandemic will make Thanksgiving look different this year, but we know who’s still hoping for an invite to your holiday celebration!

Shelters across the country are encouraging Americans to use the extra space and energy saved from a downsized Thanksgiving to foster shelter pets this holiday season. The Animal Foundation in Las Vegas, for example, is one of many U.S. shelters offering shelter pets and complimentary pet food to anyone willing to foster dogs or cats this holiday season, thereby giving animals a much-needed break from their kennels and letting them briefly experience the comforts of a loving home.

“There’s no place like home for the holidays. Especially if you’re a shelter pet,” shelter workers wrote on Facebook. “Spending time in a home gives our animals the chance to decompress and show their true personalities. They have so much love to give!”

But Las Vegas residents aren’t the only folks who get to participate in this paw-some holiday program. Shelters in Florida, Georgia, Virginia, and other states are also encouraging residents to open their homes to help shelter animals throughout the holidays. (Some shelters, including Fulton County Animal Services in Atlanta, are also offering reduced “Black Friday” rates on adoption).

“Just a few more days until Thanksgiving, and that means you only have a few more days to find your perfect house guest for the holiday–one of our adoptable pups!” rescuers from Florida’s Alachua County Animal Services wrote on Facebook. “Last year, so many of our adoptable dogs got to spend Thanksgiving out of the shelter, and we hope this year can be just as successful!”

Some shelters are so excited about the upcoming holidays that they’re even loaning out shelter pets with a list of dog-friendly Thanksgiving foods. “Don’t you have room for one more this Thanksgiving? Open your heart and home to a dog in need,” the Pittsylvania Pet Center wrote on Facebook. “We have a few great, wonderful pets that would love to be in a home to eat turkey and ham with you and your family!”

Please contact your local shelter to see if they’re running (or know of) any holiday foster programs in your area. Opening your home to a foster pet is a great way to share the holiday love with animals in need!

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J. Swanson is a writer, traveler, and animal-enthusiast based in Seattle, an appropriately pet-crazed city where dog or cat ownership even outweighs the number of kids. When the weather permits, she likes to get outside and explore the rest of the Pacific Northwest, always with a coffee in hand.
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