ARL Recommends Fostering for Folks ‘On the Fence’ About Adoption

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DES MOINES, Iowa  —  The Animal Rescue League of Iowa continues to find kittens inside the hoarding home in Madrid. So far, they have found 176 living and 194 deceased, but those numbers are expected to increase.

The ARL said the kittens from the Madrid home will not be up for adoption or fostering for a while because they are still under medical quarantine. But the ARL has more than 1,100 cats already in their shelter that they need to find homes for. Adopting an animal is a big decision, so if you are on the fence, the ARL recommends fostering.

Fostering an animal helps clear out space.

“Our biggest need right now is space, we have so many cats that are ready for homes, we just don’t have enough homes right now that are raising their hands and taking them home to adopt. So, fostering can give us a little breathing room,” Animal Rescue League of Iowa Spokesperson Stephanie Filer said.

If you intend to adopt a cat but are worried you might not pick the right one, they have a program called ‘rent a cat.’ This is where you can take home a cat and you have 60 days or fewer to see if it is the right fit. If it is not you can bring the cat back to the ARL and pick out a different one.

If you just want to foster a cat, there is another program called a cat staycation where you can foster a cat for 30, 60, or 90 days.

“If you’re going on vacation or can’t have them while you’re out of town, we can take them back and hold them while you’re on vacation. So we’re basically doing the reverse, you’re watching them while you can and then we’ll watch them when you can’t,” Filer said.

The ARL said fostering a cat helps them understand how the cat behaves in the home and gives it more exposure to potentially get adopted.

“Hopefully the foster homes can then find permanent homes for the cat that they’re fostering through their own sphere, through their own friends or maybe their own home,” Filer said.

But out of so many animals at the ARL, making a choice can be overwhelming. The ARL created a “Meet Your Match” program on their website to help you out.

“They can fill out information about their lifestyle and other pets in their home and what they are looking for in their cat and we have cat experts who know these cats and can match them up and narrow down that selection to just a few,” Filer said.

If you want to check out the available cats, you can go to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa’s website to see all of their pictures and bios. Then go to the ARL in person and meet the animal. You can sign foster or adoption papers and take them home that day.


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