Not every animal can stay at the WSHS adoption center; they may be too young, have medical concerns, or have behavioral issues.
Our foster families bridge the gap between intake and adoption, allowing each foster animal to reach full size, recovery, and potential for adoption. We’d like to share some of their experiences with you.
For the past five years, Trista Blessin and her daughter have enjoyed being part of their fosters’ lives. Trista says, “Watching tiny kittens grow is fun; it happens so fast. We love the kittens like they are our very own when we are fostering. At the same time, everything we do with the kittens is about helping them be as socialized and friendly as they can be for their forever home.
To fill the void her mother’s passing left, Deb Scouten wanted a canine companion but was concerned about her frequent travel. Fostering was the perfect solution. Deb and her husband Charles always say yes to any small- or medium-sized dogs in need. Their most gratifying experience was with Jelly, a puppy mill beagle that needed nine months of encouragement to come out of her shell. Deb shares that the best part of fostering is “watching each dog gain confidence…and sharing mutual love. And it is just plain fun!”
Keirsten Fordemwalt began fostering at the beginning of the pandemic. Since then, her family has fostered several mama cats with kittens and a pair of rambunctious puppies! Keirsten says, “Whenever we don’t have fosters in our house, I think about our spare room that sits empty and know we could be helping save a life. And, selfishly, knowing we are helping these amazing animals is a major mood boost.”
Stephanie Nordlund and her partner Tim responded to an emergency request to foster puppies since their dog Penny (WSHS alum Ghost) enjoys having playmates. Good thing Penny is a fantastic nanny; back-to-back litters have been keeping Penny busy ever since! Stephanie also volunteers in the kennel and brings adult dogs home for a break.
Fostering can sometimes be challenging. Stephanie remembers a particularly energetic puppy with an over-the top play style. With every adoption appointment, Stephanie advocated for a good family fit which he finally found at an adoption event! Trista recently stepped up to foster bottle babies. “Fostering a mama cat and her kittens is the best because she does all the work in the early weeks,” Trista acknowledged, but “taking the place of a mama cat was a very rewarding challenge. Kittens need to be fed quite frequently, which means getting up at night for a couple of weeks. I was glad I had the time to provide love and care when they needed it.”
These families often hear how hard it must be to let their fosters go. Trista explains how rewarding it is to prepare an animal for life and love in their forever homes. Deb always sends a letter to each adopter telling them about her experience with the foster. Our foster families agree that the payoff for letting go is updates and photos from the new adopters!