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Fostering orphan animals

OCEANSIDE — Sarah Thompson is no ordinary mom — she’s a San Diego Humane Society “foster mom” to four tiny puppies, who were abandoned in a parking lot at just eight days old. 

Sick and weak, this litter of puppies was covered in dirt and their feet, tummies, and noses had sores and ulcers. When they arrived to the San Diego Humane Society, the pups were immediately bathed, fed, examined by a veterinarian and were provided overnight care while awaiting an open foster home the next day.

Thompson began fostering Jeff, Nick, Drew and Justin when they were 9-days-old. By three weeks old, almost all of their sores had healed, and they were steadily gaining weight. As a result of around-the-clock care from our Foster Program, the quartet developed into healthy pups with loving personalities, and it wasn’t long before they all found new homes.

The San Diego Humane Society’s Foster Care Program is a nurturing, rehabilitating and often life-saving service for baby animals, mothers with litters, animals with minor medical needs or other animals in need of extra-special time and attention. To become a foster pet parent, visit or e-mail

The limited resources at many shelters can also preclude the viability of offering extended care to infant animals, as well as older animals. In addition, those with medical issues also represent animal populations that can be jeopardized without the additional resources and care that a foster program provides … animals like Rita – a 10-year old Chihuahua suffering from severe seizures. Through foster care she was able to receive critical monitoring and medical care, ultimately providing her a second chance.

The Foster Care Program relies on volunteers to give special animals the extra care they need. “Many people assume they wouldn’t qualify to be a foster volunteer, and are surprised when they hear that the San Diego Humane Society provides all necessary training and supplies,” said Thompson.

Individuals in the foster program go through an orientation as well as training classes on the animals they will be fostering. Foster volunteers receive all the necessary training, supplies and support needed to care for their foster animals, including food, bowls, bedding, toys, litter, medication and any veterinary services. Being a foster volunteer is a rewarding and fulfilling task, requiring time, education and commitment.



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