Monday, November 21, 2011

Backstory: Petfinder's Foster a Lonely Pet for the Holidays

Hi all! *wiggles pink toenails in hello*

I asked Mother if we could blog about Petfinder's "Foster a Lonely Pet for the Holidays" because it's very personal to me. You see, that's how I found my Forever Family! And Mother was excited to do it because she knows - and works with - the people who were instrumental in making this a great new national tradition!

It all began many years ago when a lawyer in suburban Kansas City wrote a bedtime story for his kids. It was about a special boy who heard his hometown shelter needed to find temporary homes for its animals over the holidays.

The story also told how his small act of kindness inspired and motivated an entire town to extend their peace and goodwill to animals that year, too! That man's name is Greg Kincaid, and his story, "A Dog Named Christmas," was first published 3 years ago this month.

Someone gave a copy of Mr. Kincaid's book to a really nice man that Mother works with - Brad Moore, president of the Hallmark Hall of Fame. He fell in love with it - first because it's an awesome story but also, Mother says, because it's a hometown story and we're big about supporting hometown talent!

Greg's book became Hallmark's 2009 Holiday Hall of Fame movie (and if you never got a chance to see it, set your recorders for Sunday December 4, because at 8 AM EST it's playing again on the Hallmark Channel).

But that's just the beginning of the story! Hallmark then partnered with CBS and to launch a new program that winter, based on the concept in Greg's story: the idea to foster a lonely pet for the holidays.

This is a wonderful idea for several reasons. Not only would this make it easier for shelter workers to have a holiday of their own (fewer pets in the shelter = less time they need to work), but it also gives animals a few weeks away from the stresses of a shelter environment.

Did you know that there is such a thing as shelter stress and that it can weaken an animal's immune system?

Veterinary News wrote about shelter stress and its affects on cats in particular in an article this past July. They quoted Dr. Michael Moyer, President of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), as saying that a shelter environment "means stress, and stress means relapse of latent viruses ... [and] supportive care for weeks in order to convalesce."
Please consider participating in this year's Petfinder's Foster a Lonely Pet for the Holidays program. You'll be giving a wonderful animal a few weeks' reprieve, lightening the load for your local shelter, and - who knows? You just might discover your foster friend is someone you just can't part with. (It can happen - just look at me! *giggle*)


  1. Now that is a very worthy cause! We can't foster anyone ourselves because we rent, but we can blog about it tomorrow and maybe folks who *can* do it will decide they need to!

  2. Such a cool idea! Mom watched that movie last night and had leaky eyes. She's such a sap!

  3. That's a great idea. Am wondering if they do this in the UK? Will check.

  4. What a fabulous thing to do! We wonder if they do it in Canada....Here in our area we have several shelters, one that lists on PetFinder, others that do something else.

  5. Our Mom fosters adult cats all the time. We are ok with that as long as they are downstairs so we pretend they aren't there! Even though we don't want Mom and Dad to keep any, we are happy that they help the kitties. A lot of people think they may not have the room, or the time, but luckily, with cats from shelters - they don't ask for much. Mom says fostering is one of the best experiences a person could ever have. She loves all her fosters as much as she loves us, and that's A LOT! She wishes more people would foster the adult cats, most people want the kittens. The adults need just as much help, too.


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