OAKLAND, Calif., July 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Oakland Animal Service's director Rebecca Katz has a message for the public: now is the time to come "check out" a dog. Today the shelter launches a new foster program, with a goal of placing 20 large, adult dogs in foster homes in the next 10 days. The public is encouraged to learn more about being a foster home for a shelter dog at http://www.palseastbay.org/oas-foster.html. PALS East Bay, a local nonprofit rescue group will assist in the recruitment of fosters for the shelter.
"Fostering is a great way to help an animal on a temporary basis, for a month or longer," explains Katz. "We like to think of it like a 'lending library' where people can check out a dog and always bring it back if it is not the right fit." Fosters can also choose to adopt if they fall in love. The shelter covers expenses for vet care as well as food if needed.
"Times are tough in Oakland right now," explains Katz. "We are seeing a tremendous increase in the number of people losing their housing and forced to give up their dogs. As a result we have seen a surge in intake at the shelter, and these are truly sweet, family dogs."
With intake rates significantly higher than last summer, the shelter is at 200 percent capacity with an especially high number of large dogs. Even with the influx, the shelter has made great progress improving its "live release rate," effectively reducing the number of animals put to sleep. For the past two months, the live release rate has been 83 percent compared to 71 percent for the same time period last year.
In an effort to boost adoptions, the shelter has waived adoption fees for all animals through July 20th and is also reaching out to local rescue partners.
"But we need additional help from the public to truly save every adoptable dog," explains Katz.
According to Katz, the 20 dogs she most wants to find foster homes have been at the shelter longer than two months. While she encourages the public to learn more about these dogs at http://www.palseastbay.org/oas-foster.html she invites the public to foster any large adult dog they see available for adoption on the shelter's website www.oaklandanimalservices.org. To learn more, the public can email OASdogfoster@gmail.com.
Katz adds, "More has to be done to educate our community about the importance of sterilizing your pets and responsible guardianship – it takes the whole community working together to solve our overpopulation of homeless animals. I am so proud of the work and dedication of our staff and volunteers – they do so much on behalf of Oakland's most at-risk animals. But the truth is that the best shelter in the world is not a substitute for a home."
Oakland Animal Services is located at 1101 29th Avenue in Oakland. More information, including hours and a full list of adoptable pets, can be found at www.oaklandanimalservices.org.
CONTACT: Nicole Perelman, 1-415-385-2283, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Oakland Animal Services