KC Pet Project, a local no-kill animal shelter, has opened up applications for emergency foster parents in case the nonprofit needs to shut down due to COVID-19.
Fostering offers individuals stuck at home during the pandemic an opportunity to help an animal in need.
“Seeing Theo [the foster cat] is something I look forward to every day,” Amanda Clay, UMKC sophomore and new foster parent, said. “Life before Theo was boring and depressing.”
There are a few requirements to foster a fuzzy friend. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older, submit a foster application, sign a foster contract and be willing to help their animal get adopted. KC Pet Project ensures that a foster parent rarely spends their own money on taking care of the animal, by providing food, litter, toys, beds and more.
“I spent absolutely nothing,” Clay said. “Whenever I went in there I told the lady that it was our first time fostering, and she just asked if we needed ‘A little bit of everything’ and she came back with literally everything we needed.”
Clay received a litter box, soft food, a poop scoop, three toys and instructions on how to care for her new kitten.
“I was prepared to buy everything, fully prepared,” Clay said. “I thought since it was a shelter, they wouldn’t have a lot to spare, but I received everything except for the extras like treats and a scratchboard.”
Students who come to Kansas City and leave behind their pets can find animal companionship through fostering.
“I was used to having animals at home, so when I came here for the Fall 2020 semester, I found myself missing them,” Clay said. “Theo gives me a total serotonin boost and makes academia that much more enjoyable.”
KC Pet Project allows foster parents to choose which animal they would like to house.
“Once the application is approved, you do a phone interview where they explain the process and ask what kind of animal you’d like to foster,” Clay said. “After that, they add you to a Facebook group of the types of animals you said you’d like, whether it’s cats, dogs, or birds.”
Clay picked her kitten through the photos posted daily on the page.
“It’s first come first serve, so it’s important that if you see an animal you want, you hop on it,” Clay said. “I wanted two other animals before Theo was posted, and after seeing how quickly the other two got chosen, I immediately commented.”
The KC Pet Project foster program is an alternative way to take care of a pet for those who do not have the money or the time required for a permanent home. The application can be found on KC Pet Project’s Website.
“Not only is it a way to boost your serotonin levels, but it’s nice for the animal because they get to sleep in a home, not a cage,” Clay said. “Do it! I think everyone who can foster, should foster, it’s amazing.”