Richmond Animal Care and Control is all about forming families, especially for the holidays.
The Virginia shelter — which ensured that a blind Dachshund and his seeing eye pit bull buddy stayed together earlier this year — has spent November placing its animals in homes for Thanksgiving.
On Nov. 13, RACC posted on Facebook that staff was looking for local foster families who weren’t traveling for Thanksgiving to take in a cat or dog from Turkey Day until next Wednesday, Nov. 28, because “no one should spend Thanksgiving alone.”
According to The Dodo, this is the fourth year RACC has held this foster program because of its continued success. Shelter director Christie Chipps Peters told the site that the program is especially heartwarming since many of the animals end up getting adopted by their Thanksgiving fosters or one of their relatives.
“It’s a fun twist to a traditional fostering situation for people who might’ve never done it before,” Peters told The Dodo. “The shelter provides the supplies you need, such as food, medication and a crate, and the following Wednesday after Thanksgiving the pet comes back. But a lot of the times, the pets never have to come back to the shelter. We try to make it really easy for people to say yes and keep that pet forever.”
Many Virginia animal lovers have already answered the call this year, coming in to pick up an adoptable pet to take home for the holiday. RACC posted photos of these fosters and their furry dinner guests on Facebook, and everyone is all smiles. Peters told PEOPLE that 92 of the shelter’s pets — 48 cats and 44 dogs — are enjoying Thanksgiving surrounded by a loving family this year.
Before a foster takes an animal home, they are interviewed by a RACC staff member, so that each foster can be matched with the pet that is the best fit for their lifestyle. This step also improves the animal’s chance of being adopted by their foster, who doesn’t have to pay adoption fees if they choose to make the pet a permanent family member.