Local animal shelter volunteer shares fostering experience

One volunteer at the Harris County Animal Shelter has fostered more than 50 animals, giving them the chance to become adopted into loving homes.

HOUSTON - After the overwhelming response to the Harris County Animal Shelter's viral adoption plea, it's clear that so many of you are standing for Houston.

The shelter told KHOU 11 last week that it took in 59 puppies in just one hour, and when we shared the story on Facebook, it caught the attention of hundreds of thousands.

Since then, more than 90 animals in need now have homes through adoption, fostering, and with the help of rescue groups.

One volunteer at the shelter has a love for animals that has led her to take on multiple roles, including being a foster mom.

Janice Cravens knows a thing or two about animals. She’s been volunteering at the shelter for the last two years, half of that time taking on another role -- foster mom.

“I’ve had moms and puppies, I’ve taken in kittens,” said Cravens.

She has an infinite love for the furry friends, who just want a second chance at being cared for. 

“They’re living, breathing, feeling things, and to know that they’re going to be taken care of and go to somebody’s home instead of living on the streets, is really important,” said Cravens.

Fostering plays an important role in that process and at the shelters. Often times it frees up space for more animals and gives them a chance to adjust to a home environment.

“I work on crate training, housebreaking, so that they’re ready to go when they get adopted,” she said.

So far, Cravens has fostered more than 50 animals.

“There was Banana, Mango, and Dill…” she went on to name a few.

Plenty of names and furry faces she reminisces about, in proud mama fashion.  

“It’s rewarding, it’s so neat to take them up there and send them on their way,” she said.

But the role isn’t always easy.

For Cravens, her toughest moment came when she met a 9-year-old black lab named Lola.

“Within two days of having her in my home, she passed away, and I was devastated,” she said.

Heartbroken, until she heard some uplifting advice.

“The foster coordinator told me something that I hadn’t really thought about: this dog got to die in a home, on a pillow, it didn’t die on the street… in the end somebody loved her,” she said.

Helping Cravens come to terms and truly understand love and foster often go hand in hand.

“There is an emotional involvement, but it’s so worth it, because I know these animals are going to a good home,” she said.

If you’re interested in fostering, shelter volunteers say, before you do so, make sure your own pets are all up to date on vaccinations. 

If you have any inquiries about fostering, they ask you call them at (281) 999-3191 or email them at foster@hcphes.org.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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