BILLINGS — The Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter is currently in need of some help from the public as they have more animals than they can handle and are hoping for more people to foster.
The shelter helps animals find their forever home and people find a new member of their families everyday. The shelter doesn't turn any animals away but occasionally they come in at a faster rate than they can be adopted.
"Summer and spring months are always super busy for us here and this year is no exception. Primarily because of kitten season. Lots of cats out there are having kittens and then they make their way into us," said Tiffany Smith the Clinic Manager at Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter.
The shelter can maintain 100 animals and they currently have 70 in house but over 50 in foster care. They continue to get more animals in and Billings residents like Stacy Craft help alleviate some of the pressure from the shelter. Craft has been a foster for the shelter for over a year and the difference fostering can make is substantial.
"By taking in fosters you free up a kennel and by doing that it leaves an opportunity for another animal that is currently ready to be adopted to find a home. Every animal is ready at different times. In the amount of time it takes to get a certain animal ready for adoption you could have 8 or more animals through that kennel who can find homes. So, freeing up that space is really important," said Craft.
Fostering leads to healthier animals and more of them finding their permanent homes. The shelter also does what they can to ensure there's no financial burden on people that choose to foster.
"Fosters just provide the TLC and the home. We provide food supplies and medical care," added Smith.
It provides an opportunity for animals to get healthy or habituated to people while keeping the kennels open for animals that are ready to be adopted. It's also a very rewarding experience for the people that do it.
"Seeing the kittens and cats that I've worked find a forever home is probably the most rewarding part. Some were with me for six or even twelve weeks but they’re going to be in their new home for their entire lives and the stuff that I have done as their foster to help them get to that point is why they’re going to be successful in their future home," said Craft.