LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Fostering, or giving pets a temporary residence, gets them out of the stressful shelter environment and into a happy home. Some have failed at fostering, a win for both pets and people.
When the world closed its doors in 2020, Caroline Ciocca opened her heart.
“I definitely wanted a dog, but I wanted the right dog,” she told 8 News Now.
After spotting Stella at the shelter, Ciocca knew she was cute. But what kind of companion would she be?
“Take her home, take her out of the shelter; she’s probably gonna be a different dog,” she said. “…So, fostering was the perfect way for me to experience that.”
It’s a trial run for both owner and animal.
“They give you so much,” said Kate McLaughlin. “It’s so worth it.”
She has fostered so many kittens, she lost count!
“This is when everybody wants them, right? But they’re not ready to be adopted yet,” she explained. “They need some time to grow up. They need to learn how to be a cat, and they need to get to the point where they can be fixed before they can be adopted out.”
Adoption is the end goal but getting there might mean time in foster care. As an animal is going out, there are countless others waiting to come in.
“Fostering truly saves lives,” Monique Hanson, foster coordinator for the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA), said. “I can’t say it enough.”
The NSPCA is in the midst of kitten season, which could last until the fall. The shelter is a stressful place for young animals, nursing moms and senior dogs, so giving them a reprieve can allow them to relax.
“We have a better way of knowing what they’re like,” Hanson explained, “and to find them their perfect forever home is a lot easier when we know what their personalities are.”
For Stella, it didn’t take long at all.
“I knew the first day that I had her,” Ciocca recounted. “She wasn’t going back!”
Her foster and eventual adoption created life-saving space for another little soul.