Volunteer work has never been quite so adorable.
Each year, thousands of animals in the United States are saved by placement in pet foster homes or are permanently adopted. In 2013, a CLS student and avid animal lover joined the ranks of animal rescuers when she became a pet foster with the Bella Foundation SPCA.
Jessica Cavin first learned about the opportunity to foster animals in need from a friend who was already involved.
“Dana Stone fostered through the Bella Foundation SPCA and talked about what a great experience it was,” she said. “She told me about how many animal lives are saved just through fostering and that made me want to get involved.”
The number of animals saved by the foster care system is impressive. Because the Bella Foundation does not have a physical shelter, all of the animals saved by the organization are cared for by their foster families. These families keep the pet until it can be placed with a family in a “forever home.”
Fostering saves lives in more ways than one. By taking in even one animal, foster parents are saving the lives of two animals in need.
Fostering saves lives in more ways than one. By taking in even one animal, foster parents are saving the lives of two animals in need. When they bring one animal into their home they are making room for another in a shelter.
And Cavin enjoys every minute of it.
“I was surprised to find out how much I enjoyed helping in any way possible,” she said. “I love working with the kittens—which surprised me because I always thought I was a dog person! And I love interacting with the fellow fosters.”
When she is not taking care of her foster pets, Cavin creates digital files for the Native American Language Collection at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History. She says that her volunteer experience there has helped confirm that a museum career is the right fit for her.
Cavin’s advice to those thinking about volunteering in their community is just to “Go for it!”
“You’re going to enjoy your time volunteering,” she said. “Not only does it help another organization but it also makes you feel good about yourself.”
Those interested in fostering animals in need with the Bella Foundation should visit this website for more information. The Sam Noble Museum of Natural History accepts applicants on its volunteer page.
Note: The College of Liberal Studies was renamed the College of Professional and Continuing Studies in 2017.