LARGO — Pinellas County Animal Services is seeking volunteers to join foster care team, as part of an effort to save pets that need time away from the shelter.
The program requires a foster application and approval. All foster care parents are required to complete the volunteer orientation class and foster training at the Pinellas County Animal Services shelter. Volunteer orientation class begins at 2 p.m., today and foster training immediately follows at 4 p.m.
Some of the animals that will benefit from the program include: puppies and kittens too young for adoption, those recovering from surgery or illness, senior pets that need to be out of a shelter environment, dogs that have been on the adoption list for an extended period, and pets requiring socialization skills that can only be learned in a home environment.
Volunteers interested in becoming a foster parent will work directly with the adoption coordinator and the medical staff.
The foster care training will provide potential foster parents with basic animal cleaning and feeding tips, information on feline upper respiratory infection and the shelter’s emergency procedures.
To be part of the foster care team, participants must possess:
• Genuine concern for the welfare of the animals;
• Willingness to be compassionate to special needs animals;
• Commitment to follow all foster policies and directives as required by the adoption coordinator;
• A valid driver’s license and vehicle to transport foster animals to and from shelter;
• Willingness to attend a foster meeting every six months at the shelter.
In 2013, Pinellas County Animal Services fostered 1,096 animals that needed additional time and care.
To register, visit www.pinellascounty.org/animalservices/volunteer.htm, complete the Volunteer Application and select Animal Foster Care / Rescue under the Animal Care box.
Pinellas County Animal Services is located at 12450 Ulmerton Road in Largo. Normal hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the adoption center closing at 5:30 p.m. Saturday hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and services include adoptions. Rabies vaccinations are administered on Thursdays from 1 to 4 p.m. The facility is closed all Pinellas County holidays.
To learn more about the shelter, visit www.pinellascounty.org/animalservices, or call (727) 582-2600. The lost or found pet hotline is (727) 582-2604.