Thanks to volunteer foster homes, pets like Smokey Joe can recover and thrive.

Thanks to volunteer foster homes, pets like Smokey Joe can recover and thrive.

SPCA seeks foster volunteers

There’s an elevated need for foster volunteers in the Kootenays during the warmer months

With temperatures soaring and evacuation alerts across the province, household pets often get left behind.

To help abandoned or lost pets, the BC SPCA is seeking new foster volunteers in the West Kootenay region.

“Foster volunteers provide thousands of vulnerable animals with care, support and, more importantly, a place to thrive and recover every time they open their homes to an animal from a shelter,” says Michelle Rodgers, senior manager of volunteer resources.

“It also helps prepare animals for adoption by giving them a chance to live in a home where they can fully express their personality, work to overcome fears or recover from trauma.”

According to Rodgers, there’s typically an elevated need for foster volunteers during the warmer months as people’s availability changes due to vacation time.

Additionally, an increase intake of vulnerable, orphaned, nursing or pregnant animals as well as displaced animals from natural disasters, including wildfires, also require more hands-on deck.

“In the spring and summer months, we see an influx in kittens and nursing cats,” she says. “We could not provide the level of care and support these animals need without our foster program and the volunteers who provide a safe, comfortable home for them.”

One recent foster success in the Kootenay Region involved a cat named Smokey Joe who was soon placed with a long-time foster parent named Sharon from the West Kootenay Community Animal Centre.

“When Joe was found, he was in terrible condition – emaciated, and heavily matted; the staff weren’t sure if he’d make it,” says Rodgers. “He was placed in Sharon’s care to recover. Slowly, he adjusted, and grew into a loving and healthy cat. Sharon’s love and patience allowed Smokey’s true colours to shine, and he is almost ready for adoption.

“I’m moved by our volunteer’s willingness to open up their homes to vulnerable animals and provide a safe place for them to thrive,” added Rodgers.

For those who are interested in applying to be a foster, you can fill out an application form here:

For additional information on volunteering with the BC SPCA, please check out or email>.

Read: Starving bobcat cub rescued by B.C. animal rehab centre

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