Lynnwood Lifestyles: What you need to know about fostering animals during quarantine

It’s true what they say, the world goes on. And just because everyone is stuck at home right now, it doesn’t mean life doesn’t happen anyway. One peek into any random animal shelter will tell you―things are a little hard for animals without stable homes.

Most shelters are closed, which means animals are roaming free, unable to be helped. And those shelter that are open are dealing with a smaller workforce, which means they’re very busy.

That being said, there’s been such a surge in fostering lately, with families and single people (it’s tough being alone during lockdown) pitching in to help, that shelters are advising everyone consider the long-term:

Never foster a pet you’re not ready to adopt yourself. If you’re completely unable to adopt them, for whatever reason, it’s best you do not foster. We’re talking about a serious long-term commitment here, it could be weeks or months of caring for the animal (this explains why so many “fail at fostering” and actually adopt the pet instead).

So consider things like finances for the next year―will you be able to feed this pet and buy essentials, like toys and medicine? Consider your schedule. Will you be able to walk and play with your pet on a daily basis? 

Now that the warning is out of the way, let’s dive into the fostering steps (these are exclusively PAWS, but all shelters follow the same regimen:

1) First thing’s first, you must be at least 18 years of age.

2) You must reside in Lynnwood, if you’re planning on fostering an animal from any local shelter, including PAWS.

3) You can submit this application and email it to

4) The primary contact listed should complete online training, full of basic fostering program information. There’s a quiz at the end.

5) Attend the Virtual Foster Info & Training Session.

6) Pay an online registration fee of $10 and complete a background check.

7) From there, the shelter will match you with the pet they think you’ll be happy fostering for an extended period of time.

8) You will be required to feed, house, and exercise the animal on a daily basis. Playtime is also highly recommended. 

Currently, PAWS is in dire need of fostering help, especially with mother and kitten cases. Here’s a list of the fostering options that would most help:

– Kittens with ringworm

– Larger-breed dogs

– Adult cats

– Cat moms and kitten litters

– Pregnant cats and dogs

– Orphaned kittens and dogs

All shelters provide veterinary care for the animals as part of the fostering program, but again, you’d be in charge of feeding the animal and investing time and effort into maintaining their healthy lifestyle. If you choose to foster animals with bad behavior, it would also be up to you to train and potentially rehabilitate the animal into a more acceptable state for adoption.

Remember, animals with severe behavioral or medical problems often fail to get adopted within the standard timeframe.

Jennifer Mendez

By Jennifer Mendez

Jennifer Mendez is a content creator and Lynnwood resident who specializes in copy, graphic design and photography for her clients. Whenever she’s not creating something, she’s exploring new places to eat in the area.

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