Reimers letter: Give a shelter pet a foster home

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I have followed with much interest Gloria Davey’s fight for rezoning in order to build a “no-kill” pet shelter in Lancaster County.
We all know the county-owned shelter is always overloaded and, consequently, more than 4,000 pets are euthanized there each year. I applaud Ms. Davey and her efforts to help find a solution for this. I would stand behind anyone trying to help the pets in whatever way they could.
But the solution to the pet overpopulation depends mainly on two things, one of which is spay/neuter of your pets and in that we, The Humane Society of Lancaster SC, offer a low-cost spay/neuter program that does include pet trans-
portation to and from the vet if needed. The other solution, one that does not cost the residents anything and is readily available is foster homes.
 We pull many pets from the county’s high-kill shelter, but not as many as we would like to because of a lack of foster homes for them.
A pet in foster care is actually better than one in a shelter of any kind because there is not a huge population of them at any one place. Foster homes give love and attention to one or two at a time. There is no great amount of noise and the pets are socialized and evaluated for personality and behavior.
 While in foster care, we can find out if the pet is suitable for a household with other pets or children, thereby making sure they will be adopted to the environment best-suited to them.
We know there are a lot of concerned residents who care deeply what happens to these pets that wind up at the county shelter. When fostering for the Humane Society, we take care of the vaccines, any medical problems that may need special care,spay and/or neuter and their food. We ask nothing more of our fosters than a warm, dry place for the pet to sleep, food and water and some love and attention.
Fostering is the true “no-kill or low-kill” shelter because once a pet is rescued by us, it will never be returned to the county shelter or a neglectful or abusive home.
While donations to our 501{c}3 nonprofit are certainly welcome, we would much rather have the foster homes so that a pet in need will have a safe place to go. We do not discriminate against pets because of their age, health or color of their fur. We take in many in need of surgical care to survive and seniors as well. A senior pet usually still has many years of love and loyalty to give.
If you feel bad because this shelter cannot be built at this time and would like a way to help the pets of our county, please visit our website, www.savelancastersc pets.org, and see what it is exactly that we do and have done and then contact us. You will also be able to help choose the pet you wish to foster. To us this is a win-win situation and the pets and the Humane Society will be forever grateful.
Mary Reimers
president of the Humane Society of Lancaster SC