A foster volunteer is one who accepts a dog or cat into their home temporarily, until a more permanent home can be found for the animal. Many of AAofUS's volunteers foster animals on a regular basis. Some of them do fostering only, and have provided temporary housing for 80 animals or more, until they could be placed in more permanent homes.
If you have never fostered before, you might find it a truly rewarding experience—whether you eventually foster just one animal, or one hundred! Additionally, when you foster a dog or cat with AAofUS, the animal is provided food and any medical care needed; as the foster parent, all you need to provide are love and attention, regular care, exercise, and a place for the foster animal to live. Please click the silver button just below to fill out a foster volunteering application online.
I care not for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.
~ Abraham Lincoln
Julie says, "I have always been crazy for animals and have taken in many over the years. When my husband Dennis and I got married, we had to rent a house because we both had animals. In June 2004 I saw a flier promoting foster volunteering, and thought we might foster since we would be home for the summer. My son Kevin was ten at that time and wanted a chihuahua (we had large dogs at home), and found one on the Internet. Turns out the dog we saw on the web was the one who needed fostering! We ended up adopting Tito after having so much fun with a small dog; he went with us everywhere!
Two years later we fostered again and we got Oka, a crippled spaniel mix with only four teeth whom we absolutely adore, and ended up keeping her! Next came Maya, a long-haired chihuahua who added a lot of 'life' in our dog family. After the wildfires in San Diego in 2007, we decided to help displaced families by foster- ing as many of their pets as we could. We have been fostering furiously ever since, placing over 80 dogs and cats. It has been the most rewarding experience of our lives, seeing the animals becoming comfortable in their new environments (most come from horrible conditions) and hearing from the adopters who love their new 'family members.'"
In this life we all cannot do
great things, only small things with great love.
~ Mother Teresa
Cat embodies Mother Teresa's spirit by volunteering her time and giving her love to the "small things" in our world that need help. She moved to southern California in 2007 and has fostered about 15 dogs so far because she loves nurturing them and preparing them for their forever homes. She enjoys seeing them blossom into happy, healthy, well-adjusted pets. She also volunteers at the county shelter a few times a week.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
~ Mohandas K. Gandhi
Laura Sandoval is, without question, Animal Advocates of the United States' most important and valuable volunteer. She estimates that in the past eight years she has fostered about 1,200 dogs, and 200 to 300 cats. She manages to place about 12 dogs and one cat into loving homes each and every month. As if that weren't enough, she also coordinates the AAofUS adoption program, as well as the AAofUS free spay-and-neuter campaigns in Mexico, and raises money to fund them.
"I have a great life, and I consider myself very lucky to have the opportunity to dedicate all my free time to helping animals," says Laura. "From the time I was six years old, I have protected animals. I would take home injured dogs, cats, and birds, and try to nurse them back to health. There is nothing more rewarding than to change an animal's life for the better. There is no pay check that will give you that joy."
"I was born to be an animal advocate," says Laura. We believe that her tremendous record of service over the last eight years bears that out.
Laura is also featured very prominently in the Animal Advocates of the U.S. video, posted on YouTube.
The love of all creatures is the most noble attribute of man.
~ Charles Darwin
Over the years Lisa has worked with several nonprofit animal welfare groups and shelters in San Diego. Her family has fostered over 50 dogs (although not all at one time!). She feels that fostering is a tangible way to help animals in need. Says Lisa, "It is rewarding to place a dog into its forever home, enhancing human lives as well!"