The Burlington County Animal Shelter and Best Friends Animal Society are looking for individuals and families who are willing to open their homes to help vulnerable animals.
The shelter is now partnering with Best Friends, a leading national animal welfare organization, to recruit and train new and existing volunteers to foster at-risk dogs and cats from the shelter. Volunteer drivers are also needed to help transport supplies and foster animals to and from medical appointments.
Best Friends runs lifesaving programs across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Working collaboratively with a network of more than 4,200 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to save them all.
Under the agreement with Burlington County, Best Friends will provide virtual training and 24/7 support to foster volunteers, along with all food, supplies and animal medical care needed during an initial six-month pilot program, after which, the shelter will assume control of the revamped foster program.
Best Friends has also awarded the shelter a $25,000 grant, which will be used to support surgeries and medical care for the foster animals.
“Best Friends is an outstanding organization with a record of success assisting shelters and rescue groups across the nation,” said Burlington County Commissioner Dan O’Connell, the liaison to the County animal shelter and the Health Department. “By teaming with them, we hope to find and train more individuals and families willing to provide foster care. Every dog and cat we’re able to adopt or place in a foster home frees up space in the shelter for another animal, so we’re thrilled to enter this new partnership.”
“Launching and running a successful foster program with volunteer support can be one of the most challenging endeavors for an animal shelter,” said Audrey Lodato, East Region Director, Best Friends Animal Society. “Burlington County Animal Shelter is committed to increasing their lifesaving programs, but it takes a community to save all of its homeless pets. We are looking forward to working with the shelter team and local volunteers to create a thriving foster program for the community.”
The Burlington County Animal Shelter is the only shelter operating in New Jersey’s largest county. It accepts surrendered pets and strays from all 40 Burlington County municipalities.
Last year, the shelter adopted out more than 450 dogs and 1,180 cats. Another 198 dogs and 832 cats were placed in foster care with rescue groups and with area animal lovers. Commissioner O’Connell adopted his dog, Bingo, from the shelter after first fostering for several months.
“Our Board is incredibly proud of the job our shelter staff and volunteers do to care for animals and to help train them to find then new forever homes,” O’Connell said. “My dog Bingo was originally a foster, but we quickly became best friends and I’m proud to call him an adopted member of my family. I would encourage anyone with a love of animals to consider becoming a foster.”
Residents interested in fostering cats, kittens or dogs can sign-up at bestfriends.org/burlington-county or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.