SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — One of the San Diego Humane Society’s most important fundraisers of the year, the Walk for Animals, is Saturday, May 6. This year, the walk is even more important than ever and the humane society is counting on the community as the shelter is over capacity and in need of donors, volunteers and especially adopters and fosters.
Cheance Adair is a San Diego Humane Society volunteer and has been one of the top walk fundraisers every year for the past six years. Cheance started fostering after learning about the hoarding case in which 92 Yorkies were rescued from deplorable conditions in 2017.
Cheance was hesitant about fostering at first saying, "I can’t foster, I can’t give them back, I’m going to be the next hoarder if I foster! But then you realize that you are giving that animal an opportunity to appreciate being loved.”
The need for fosters is at an all-time high. Nina Thompson, Director of Public Relations at the San Diego Humane Society, explains, “We have more dogs than we have kennels. We have about 1900 animals total in our care now, 1900! These are astonishing numbers and it’s not even close to summer yet."
This is typically their slow season, but they haven't seen a reprieve since October making this year's walk so important.
Nina adds, “The money raised during the Walk for Animals goes directly back to every single pet or wildlife who needs us. All for one common cause and that is the love for animals and to fundraise for the 40,000 animals that we’re going to see come through our doors this year alone."
This will be Cheance's seventh Walk for Animals and she credits being a top fundraiser to her family, friends and the community.
Cheance says, “It’s just a good feeling to be participating in something that goes beyond domestic animals, it goes beyond the kittens, it goes beyond the dogs; it goes into horses, into pigs, it goes into wildlife, it’s everything within San Diego county.”
There are a number of ways to help. You can sign up to walk or donate and if you're unsure about adopting, that's fine too. Nina explains, “There is a huge need right now to support homeless pets. Every shelter is full. Every rescue is full so please consider adopting if you have space in your heart and in your home. If you don’t want to do something permanently maybe start with fostering."
For those willing to open their home to a pet for a short period of time it's an easy process. You fill out an application online, complete an online training and after a consultation with a foster specialist you get to take home a pet.
The impact fostering has on the animals is priceless.
Nina shares, “They act differently in the home. We learn what they’re like, what they react to. If they’re a couch potato, if they’re very active, if they like to live around other cats or dogs. So fostering is a huge help in terms of identifying a future good fit in a family, but it also creates space here in the shelter for another pet that needs us.”
Fostering helps the pet de-stress from the shelter and come out of its shell. Cheance's dog Tray now does agility work and is a teacup dog champion, saying, “Rescues can do anything!”
She goes on to encourage those to consider getting involved, "Don’t hesitate to give it a shot, foster, volunteer, put your name in a hat. There’s a lot of things that you can do that don’t require the heartbreaking stuff.”
Right now, the shelter is in need of fosters for every type of animal, but especially large dogs, for any length of time. The shelter provides the food, supplies, and medical care – you just provide the space and the love.
The Walk for Animals is Saturday, May 6, at Liberty Station, with the fun beginning at 7 a.m., the walk stepping off at 9 a.m., and a vendor village open until 11a.m.