Palm Valley Animal Center looking for foster homes for holiday season

Animals wait in their pens to be adopted at the Palm Valley Animal Center Tuesday, Feb, 13, 2018, in Edinburg.

EDINBURG — Palm Valley Animal Center is looking for volunteers to foster dogs and cats during the holiday season.  

“While Santa’s reindeer are enjoying a cushy bed of hay, Hidalgo County’s pets still need a place to sleep for the night,” said a Thursday press release from the animal shelter.

Providing the animals with a temporary home might buy them enough time to “find their forever family,” the release explained.

PVAC, which announced a no-kill initiative earlier this year, operates Hidalgo County’s only open-admission animal shelter and cares for tens of thousands of animals each year. In 2017, PVAC took in nearly 41,000 animals — a number comparable to shelters operating in major metropolitan cities. Lacking the same space and resources as shelters in those cities, PVAC is asking the community for support.

“Fostering is so important because it helps reduce overcrowding and illness in our shelter,” said Mike Bricker, executive director of PVAC.  “(It) opens up much needed space for more animals to be saved. Plus, it gives the animals that go into foster a stress-free environment to help them get ready to be adopted.”

Foster volunteers can decide what type of animal to take in, including everything from recently weaned puppies to senior cats. Animals in the foster program also come with basic supplies such as food, litter, blankets and toys. The shelter is recruiting foster volunteers to care for animals over a short window of time while staff arranges adoptions and lifesaving transport projects with rescue partners, the release states.

However, the majority of the animals that make it to PVAC are not adopted locally. Transport is a growing part of PVAC’s no-kill strategy to save animals who are more likely to be adopted in other areas of the country.  Since November, more than 450 puppies and dogs have been transported to other regions. By the end of the year, PVAC hopes to transport more than 9,000 animals.

Foster homes allow the shelter to hold animals until they are ready to be transported while still being able to take in others. To learn more contact the PVAC fostering coordination team at (956) 686-1141 (extension 33) or at foster@pvactx.org.