The Pet Resource Center encourages residents to foster or adopt pets over the holidays

When it comes to gifts for pets, there are always lots of options. But what if you had the chance to give shelter pets the very best gift at the very best time: A home for the holidays, even if only for a few days?

The Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center has created the Silent Night foster program, which puts pets into foster homes for a short period of time over the holidays. Residents willing to foster a dog or cat will pick up the pet and pet food from the shelter sometime between Dec. 20 and Dec. 23.

They will provide a home and love, then return the dog or cat between Dec. 27 and Dec. 30, meaning the foster parent will only have the pet for four to 12 days.

This is the second year for the program, and shelter officials hope it will continue to provide many benefits. Most importantly: kennels are meant to be a short-term home, not a long-term one, and some of the dogs and cats desperately need a break from the overcrowded shelter and the stress it brings. Additionally, pets that are in foster programs open up space at the shelter for other dogs and cats.

Often, the foster parents, their friends, or family end up adopting the pets. Even if the pets aren't adopted, the foster parents can provide information about the dog or cat's personality and traits, which helps prospective adopters find the perfect match. You could end up meeting your next best friend!

Information and photos of the dogs and cats at the shelter can be seen online. Any pet listed as "Ready to Go" is eligible for this program. To foster, please visit the PRC Foster Page to sign up and be sure to select Silent Night in the general interests section.

Image Caption: Dog and cat sleep on beds beneath a string of Christmas lights
Posted: 12/7/2023, 2:48:01 PM