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Denver animal rescue pleading for foster volunteers to help ease the strain on shelters

Posted at 10:03 PM, Mar 23, 2023

DENVER — Local animal shelters continue to deal with overcrowding. And now, one of the resources that helps carry the burden is getting harder to come by: there aren't as many people volunteering to foster animals.

"When I first started fostering, I started taking pictures," Kella Manfredi said of a wall of photos of the dogs she's fostered over the last 10 years. "It's grown now to 84 pictures."

Manfredi is in charge of PawsCo's shelter relations. She works with shelters across the state through the organization but also to foster dogs herself. She recently visited a local shelter where she'll be getting her next foster pup.

"They have 225 dogs in their care right now, and they are tripling up on kennels. They're just desperate for rescue [organizations] to help, and we're desperate to help them. But we need fosters to do that," said Manfredi.

She said it's a crisis several shelters in our state are dealing with. She offers up another example of a shelter being able to adopt out five dogs per week, but intakes about 15.

It's a trend Denver7 has been tracking since its uptick in the last few years.

Fostering is a helpful and, oftentimes, cost effective way to help lighten the load of your local shelter.

"PawsCo provides all of the supplies, all of the vetting and all of the medical needs. If there's training support needed, the rescue takes that burden off of the foster. And so really, we're just asking the foster to give them a home, a space, a bed, a place to thrive until adoption," explained Manfredi.

It's common for organizations to hear that someone won't foster a pet because it'd be too sad to give it up when it's ready to be adopted.

"It's always a very bittersweet goodbye, but we're literally saving lives by fostering. There are dogs that would have been put down and euthanized in shelters situations simply because of space and lack of funding," said Manfredi.

There are several shelters and rescues that need foster volunteers right now, including:

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