MIDLAND, Texas — With so many stray dogs and cats out on the streets, and with Midland Animal Services at full capacity, organizations like Fix West Texas are pushing for more foster families in Midland.
Foster families give animals a temporary home, keeping them out of cramped kennels or the streets and into a safe home.
Fostering also gives these pets a less stressful and healthier life.
"They're not exposed to as much disease and they’re not as stressed out, shelter life is very stressful for these animals," said Beth Meeks, the director of adoptions for Fix West Texas. "You see a lot of them lose weight, they have diarrhea, and it’s just the stress of being in the kennel all day.”
Fostering also prepares the pet for their permanent home, as they can play with other people and animals.
"It makes them more ready for their permanent home," said Meeks. "They're getting socialized, and we love it when our families that foster have kids or cats or other dogs, because it really helps that pet become more socialized and learn how to interact with other people or with other pets. It just makes them better prepared for their new home."
If you want to foster an animal, the process is easy. By going to the Fix West Texas website, you can find the foster tab and begin an application process to become a foster family.
"You can go out there and fill out the foster application where we ask you some questions there, so we can get you paired up with the right animal,” said Katlyn Walthall, the director of community outreach and fundraising for Fix West Texas.
Fix West Texas will then get you the right supplies to take care of your temporary pet, such as food, toys and beds.
The time period for fostering a pet is any time between two and six weeks. Still, even if it's just temporary, the animal has a few weeks of staying off the streets and learning how to be around people before it finds a forever home.
“I think it means that, you know, they saved a life and they can feel good about that," Walthall said. "Even though they're just opening up their home temporarily, it makes a really big difference in an animal's life.”