Foster a Pet Month

Make a homeless pets’ next chapter one filled with love and hope.

April Martinez with Sissy

June marks National Foster a Pet month, and, truly, any time is a great time to save the life of a homeless pet by fostering. Across the nation, animal shelters are in the midst of a sustained period of increased intake. Many shelters experienced record-breaking intake in 2021, a trend that has persisted in 2022 and is directly related to the pandemic and the state of the economy. The physical space required to humanely care for homeless pets is a primary constraint, and foster volunteers offer infinite potential to expand your local animal shelter’s life-saving impact.

Currently, 162 homeless pets are in the care of Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society and looking forward to making heart connections with their forever families. GMHS’ foster volunteers lovingly care for cats, including neonate kittens, and heartworm-positive dogs. Their choice to welcome pets into their heart and home in preparation for adoption or transfer to one of our Highway to Home adoption-guaranteed partners helps GMHS maintain our status as a life-saving shelter (greater than 90% annual live-release rate).

By selflessly sharing their time and talents to socialize pets and care for those with special medical needs, foster volunteers provide homeless pets with much more than shelter and care; they provide them a second chance at a life well lived. The human-animal bond is powerful, indeed, and foster volunteers benefit as much from the experience as the pets for whom they care through unconditional love, stress relief, and a sense of joy.

At GMHS, we are committed to making fostering accessible to all those who are interested. Our foster volunteers receive the training; supplies, including pet food and medication; and the support of our team needed to care for a pet during their stay with a foster family. They are foundational to GMHS’ life-saving roadmap as they are at many shelters. They ensure GMHS never euthanizes pets for space or length of stay and every creature who enters our care has the chance to lead a life filled with compassion and care, dignity and respect. 

Every day, foster volunteers are writing stories of success for homeless pets, and I would encourage all those who have a heart for homeless pets and an interest in making homeless pets’ next chapter one filled with love and hope to contact their local shelter and inquire about foster opportunities. www.GMHumaneSociety.org


Since 1912, GMHS has provided programs and services for people and pets in the Peninsula, Middle Peninsula, and Northern Neck communities. In 2021 alone, GMHS touched the lives of more than 6,200 pets through temporary shelter, adoption, transfer to Highway to Home adoption-guaranteed partners, low- and no-cost spay/neuter surgery, and a Pet Pantry. Additionally, GMHS has operated Fixin’ to Save Spay & Neuter Clinic since January 2018. Since the Clinic’s 2008 founding, more than 46,000 shelter, owned, and feral pets have received low- and no-cost spay/neuter surgeries.

GMHS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to “improving life for all animals by providing shelter, compassionate care, community assistance, and education.” The organization’s approach to altering pets and educating citizens in the shelter and Clinic’s direct and extended service region largely contributed to a 2021 96 percent live-release rate. Truly a beacon of hope and safe harbor for all homeless pets, GMHS never euthanizes for space or length of stay. 

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