Animal House Shelter in Huntley receives hundreds of calls about pets in need of a new place to call home every day.
Those calls come from animal control and high-kill shelters, and more calls come in the spring, when many new litters are born.
“If we don’t have a foster home available, we can’t say yes,” said Leslie Irwin, the shelter’s founder and executive director. “It is just going to get more intense with kitten season coming up.”
This year, “puppy season” has started early, and the shelter needs families who can take in animals until they are ready for adoption.
High-kill animal shelters often euthanize pregnant dogs and puppies first because they are most vulnerable to diseases, Irwin said. Animal House doesn’t keep puppies and pregnant or nursing dogs on-site for the same reason.
The animals typically stay at a foster home for between two and four weeks.
“We provide everything for them,” Irwin said. “We just need to have them in a safe, controlled environment.”
Animal House provides foster families with bedding, playpens or kennels, bowls, food and medical care for the dogs, Irwin said.
“The hardest thing for us is to find someone who will take pregnant and nursing dogs,” she said.
The shelter also needs foster families for their adult dogs, cats and kittens, Irwin said.
Dogs of varying breeds and sizes need foster homes, Irwin said.
People with pets of their own are eligible to foster as long as they have space to keep the foster animals separated from their own pets.
To fill out an application to foster, visit www.animalhouseshelter.com/foster-a-pet.
The shelter also accepts monetary donations and supply donations. The most urgent need is for canned puppy and kitten food or puppy and kitten milk, along with playpens.