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Animal Services needs foster care families
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LARGO – Pinellas County Animal Services is seeking volunteers to join its foster care team, as part of an effort to save pets that need time away from the shelter.

The program requires a foster application and approval. All foster care parents are required to complete the volunteer orientation class and foster training. The next training session will be presented Thursday, March 20, at the Pinellas County Animal Services shelter, 12450 Ulmerton Road.

Volunteer orientation class will begin at 2 p.m., and foster training immediately follows at 4 p.m.

Some of the animals that will benefit from the program include puppies and kittens too young for adoption, those recovering from surgery or illness, senior pets that need to be out of a shelter environment, dogs that have been on the adoption list for an extended period, and pets requiring socialization skills that can only be learned in a home environment.

Volunteers interested in becoming a foster parent will work directly with the adoption coordinator and the medical staff.

The foster care training will provide potential foster parents with basic animal cleaning and feeding tips, information on feline upper respiratory infection and the shelter's emergency procedures.

To be part of the foster care team, participants must possess:

• Genuine concern for the welfare of the animals

• Willingness to be compassionate to special needs animals

• Commitment to follow all foster policies and directives as required by the adoption coordinator

• A valid driver's license and vehicle to transport foster animals to and from shelter

• Willingness to attend a foster meeting every six months at the shelter

In 2013, Pinellas County Animal Services fostered 1,096 animals that needed additional time and care.

To register, visit www.pinellascounty.org/animalservices/volunteer.htm, complete the Volunteer Application and select Animal Foster Care/Rescue under the Animal Care box.

For information on how to adopt, donate or volunteer, visit www.pinellascounty.org/animalservices or call 582-2600. The lost or found pet hotline is 582-2604.
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