As people return to work and travel more, dog rescue organizations report that they are seeing an increased need for foster homes.
Los Angeles-based Wags & Walks is one of the organizations that relies heavily on fosters.
“Fostering is the single most important factor directly related to how many dogs we can rescue," Annika Smith, chief operating officer of Wags & Walks, told “Good Morning America.”
According to Smith, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization saw a five-times increase in foster inquiries compared to today, which allowed them to save the lives of more dogs.
Wags & Walks is not alone in its need for fosters during this time.
“Unfortunately, it seems as though the need for dogs to be rehomed has gone back to pre-COVID days, with shelters filling up again and receiving more surrender inquiries,” Smith said.
According to the ASPCA, approximately 390,000 dogs are euthanized every year. Rescue organizations such as Wags & Walks work to decrease that number by placing dogs with fosters until they find their forever home.
“A foster parent takes in a dog temporarily until they are adopted by their forever family, usually for less than a month," Smith added.
Muddy Paws Rescue based in New York City has seen a similar increase in need for fosters.
“We have seen that many groups across the country are facing a decrease in foster availability," Mallory Kerley, marketing director for Muddy Paws Rescue, told “Good Morning America.”
Similar to Wags & Walks, Muddy Paws relies heavily on fosters to save the lives of many dogs.
“Fosters are essential to our mission of saving lives. We want people to know that fosters are definitely needed right now, across both city shelters and organizations without a brick-and-mortar shelter," Kerley added.
For those who are not able to foster a dog, organizations such as these usually welcome donations.