As the OHS works harder to provide a second chance to more animals, a new crisis is emerging: finding enough special homes for the increased number of more vulnerable animals that are being saved.
While fluffy kittens and playful puppies are adopted at lightning speed, longer-stay animals — typically those with manageable medical or behavioural conditions — face longer waits to find their forever homes. The OHS is specifically concerned about a small but growing group of animals that is getting overlooked--adoptable animals waiting in temporary foster homes, because the busy environment of the OHS's on- and off-site adoption locations is often just too stressful for them.
Currently, several animals have been in temporary foster care for well over a year while they wait to find new homes. Most have required resources that in the past, would have been beyond OHS's ability to provide. Thanks to new intervention programs and life-saving initiatives, more of these animals are becoming adoptable. Now, they just need homes. While committed foster volunteers are caring for these animals, keeping them in foster for endless months is impacting the availability of foster homes for other animals in need of immediate intervention while they recover from illness or receive other care to help them become adoptable.
The OHS has recently expanded its efforts to promote animals available for adoption from foster homes. Several special adoption events have taken place at OHS Pet Adoption Locations, where "adopt-from-foster" cats have been brought in to meet potential adopters. The OHS has also increased social media efforts, including a recent social media takeover day for its longest-stay cat, Charlie, who after 15 months is still waiting to be adopted. The list of "adopt-from-foster" animals is currently averaging about a dozen or so animals, which results in a significant cost when factoring in each animal's length of stay. The OHS will keep every adoptable animal for as long as it takes to find them a new home.
The OHS is appealing to the community to support these animals by making a donation to cover costs for their care, and by sharing profiles of our adoptable animals, and more specifically, of its many long-term residents who are most in need of a new home.