SNIFF NOTES: Urgent Call for Foster Homes: Local Animal Shelter Overwhelmed with Cats and Dogs


We are in desperate need of foster homes. We are quite full, both with cats and dogs.

We’re looking for people who can take kittens or mother’s with kittens.

Our dog kennels are full and our cat population is more than 260 felines in our care.

It’s been a stressful month at CVAS.

Remember if you are looking for a cat, now is a great time to adopt. We have many awesome kittens and older cats who would make great four-legged companions.

If you would be interested in fostering litters of kittens, with or without a mom, now’s also the time to let us know. We’re only going to see an increase in the number of kittens who come through our doors over the next few months and we need help to get them ready for adoption.

For our kittens, we wait until they are 8-weeks-old or at least two pounds to have them spayed or neutered and put up for adoption. I’ve seen a lot of the little ones bounce back a lot quicker from surgery than the adults, so spaying and neutering them young is definitely a help to shelters everywhere.

The problem is when we get a lot of litters of kittens, many of them are too young to spay and neuter and we really need to find spots to hold them until that time. That’s where our foster parents come into the picture.

Our foster program is a great way to help CVAS and provide some TLC for babies waiting for their forever homes.

Foster parents essentially open their homes as a temporary residence for our kittens, sometimes with or without a mama. We’ll provide the food, bowls, towels, litter, medicines, vaccinations and sometimes even a crate if necessary for you to care for the animals.

With litters of kittens who have a mama, it’s the foster parent’s responsibility to wean the kittens onto solid food before being returned to the shelter – and don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as you would think. The little squirts like eating a mixture of what we at the shelter call “gruel.” We combine a little warm water with hard and soft kitten food, mix it around until it gets mushy and nine times out of ten the little ones gobble it up.

If the babies aren’t weaned and also don’t have a mama, the foster parents are responsible for bottle-feeding the little ones until they can eat solid food.

Keep in mind that in some instances, we’re talking about animals being in foster care for possibly up to nine weeks, so if you’d like to help, be sure you have the time to commit. Also remember that we usually need folks in the middle of the summer, when people typically go on vacation. Foster parents are solely responsible for the babies in their care and shouldn’t leave the animals with someone else while they vacation.

It’s also a good idea to have a room in your house set aside just for the foster babies. That way, you can keep them separate from everything that’s going on in your house and make sure they’re safe.

It is quite a commitment, but one that not only supports the shelter, but also helps the little ones looking for a home.

If you are interested in becoming a foster parent for CVAS, please give us a call at (717) 263-5791 or check out our website and click on the foster parent link to fill out an application.

Naturally, if you fall in love with one of your wards, adoption is not only possible, it’s very welcome. We call it being a “failed foster parent,” and it’s our favorite thing ever!

It’s a very rewarding way to help and watching all the little ones run and jump is, as one foster mom put it, better entertainment than a Broadway play!

Our foster parents help us give a chance to homeless pets and we not only appreciate them, we’re always in need. If you can help, please give us a call or fill out an application today.

When you know you were responsible for a happy ending for one of your foster babies, you’ll be glad you did.


Jennifer Vanderau is the Publications and Promotions Consultant for the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter and can be reached at [email protected]. The shelter accepts both monetary and pet supply donations. For more information, call the shelter at 263-5791 or visit the website CVAS also operates a thrift store in Chambersburg. Help support the animals at the shelter by donating to or shopping at the store.

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