What better way to pass the time while in quarantine than by helping an animal in need and bringing some positivity into these unsettling days?
Wondering how to foster a cat and help shelters struggling to maintain services during the COVID-19 pandemic. A new app makes it easy!
With the current crisis happening in animal shelters all around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic, there is an alarming need for foster parents to help shelters place animals into foster homes. But one of the biggest challenges for shelters is finding and keeping foster parents.
Enter Colleen Ferguson and her 16-year-old daughter, Tessa. They’ve fostered almost 100 kittens, cats, and a couple puppies. Inspired by their foster experiences, they created a company called Opening Cages that provides free services to help animal shelters and rescues.
Having five pets of their own and also being foster parents, they know how challenging it can be to keep everything managed for each animal—so they designed a free mobile app to make fostering so much easier and stress free! There’s also a Pet Owner section to keep track of your own pets. The app lets you enter all the important details about your foster animals so you don’t forget anything. It even reminds you when to give medications and has foster parent training videos to support you 24/7. The information entered for your foster animals goes directly back to your shelter which saves considerable time for foster coordinators.
The app also has a Foster Parent Recruiting Tool in it. “We did not realize until now how important a tool like this would be to shelters in this desperate time when they need foster parents more then ever,” says Colleen, referring to the challenges shelters are currently facing dealing with closures to the public and short staffing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The app allows shelters and rescues to use the tool to help find foster parents faster. In-app “Interested in Fostering” videos answer a lot of potential questions and objections to fostering, saving precious time and human resources. Shelter staff can simply direct people to download the app and watch the videos.
The Opening Cages App and all of their other services are at no cost to shelters and rescues. “We are happy to have this tool to offer to animal organizations to help recruit as many new foster parents as they can right now and keep existing ones longer as we move into these next few months of uncertainty,” says Colleen. “We hope more people will consider fostering at this time. What better way to pass the time while in quarantine than by helping an animal in need and bringing some positivity into these unsettling days?”