‘He keeps me company.’: Local animal shelters see uptick in people fostering dogs, cats

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Animal shelters are trying to keep staffing levels at a minimum, meaning they need more volunteers to take animals into their homes, and many people stuck in their homes are finding there's never been a better time to help out.

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Ashley Hawk, of Jersey City, is fostering Scream through the Liberty Humane Society in Jersey City.

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“I had a cat growing up, and I've been really wanting a cat as an adult, but that's a really long commitment, so when I heard that the shelters needed fosters, I decided to volunteer,” says Hawk.

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Hawk lives alone and is working from home -- something a lot of people are struggling with, but now she has some company.

“He keeps me company,” says Hawk. “He's really sweet.”

Liberty Humane Society has seen an uptick in people fostering dogs and cats, which is key because like a lot of shelters, they are working with a skeleton crew which makes it tougher to care for animals awaiting adoption.

Liberty Humane, as well as several other shelters across New Jersey, have set up curbside delivery for people to pick up their fosters without going inside the building, which is closed to the public.

Executive Director Irene Bornegraeber says there is a special need for people who can care for animals with behavioral issues.

Liberty Humane was able to find fosters for almost all its dogs and cats, thanks to an increase in volunteers, and is still accepting applications because there will be more animals brought in.

If you are interested in fostering or helping, contact your local shelter.

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