More than a dozen animals found permanent homes during the holidays, thanks to a two-week fostering program through Columbus’ PAWS Humane.
Last month, PAWS Humane began a program that allowed local residents to take in a homeless pet for two weeks during the Christmas season. Staffers said this would give animals the chance to spend time away from the shelter environment — and hopefully persuade participating families to keep their foster.
Twenty-seven dogs and cats were sent out to foster homes for two weeks, beginning Dec. 23. In the end, 12 ended up staying with their foster families. That’s more than Marnee Stallone could have asked for.
“I thought it would have been a success if just a couple had been adopted permanently,” said the adoption manager at PAWS Humane. “It really exceeded my expectations on how many would go ahead and adopt.”
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What’s more, several of the animals who were returned were adopted out last week, she said. Each participating foster family filled out a questionnaire about the pet and its habits, which Stallone believes helped in getting those animals adopted.
The local program was inspired by the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie “A Dog Named Christmas,” which moved more than 2,000 other rescues across the U.S. to establish their own holiday fostering programs, according to Petfinder.com.
The film, which is based on the novel by Greg Kincaid, aired Thanksgiving weekend on CBS. It tells the story of Todd McCray, a developmentally challenged 20-year-old who persuades his family to participate in their local shelter’s holiday fostering program. Despite initial opposition from his father, Todd is eventually allowed to bring home a yellow labrador retriever during Christmas week, with the option to keep him for good.
Through creative and persistent persuasion, Todd is then able to convince other families in their rural community.
Stallone said they plan to run the program again next Christmas season. They are even considering other holidays as well.