Room for one more? An animal shelter in Richmond, Virginia, is accepting volunteers to open their homes to one of their shelter animals for Thanksgiving. So, if you were worried about having too many leftovers, get ready to share some of your scraps with these deserving animals.
The Richmond Animal Care and Control started this Thanksgiving fostering system four years ago, The Dodo reports.
“I was feeling so sad about the dogs being alone in the shelter for Thanksgiving,” shelter director Christie Chipps Peters told The Dodo. “I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun if people could invite them over for Thanksgiving dinner?’”
She let the community know that taking a pet home temporarily over Thanksgiving was an option, and pretty soon, 35 of the animals had families inviting them over for dinner.
According to Peters, more than half of the animals were adopted that year, either by the families who had offered to host them or by people who had met them through the family over Thanksgiving.
That’s why four years later, this fostering program is still going strong. This year, the shelter posted to Facebook offering the chance to take an animal home this holiday season:
For all those in the Richmond area who are interesting in hosting a furry friend this Thanksgiving, please also keep in mind that the shelter is looking for families who don’t already have pets. From there, you’ll be interviewed to find out which animal might be the best fit for your family. Then, you’ll walk away with a new best friend for the next few days (or longer if you decide to adopt!). You’ll be asked to foster the animal beginning as early as Nov. 18, and you can wait as late as Nov. 21 to bring the animal home with you.
If you don’t happen to be in the Richmond area, there’s still a chance that your local shelter will let you host a dog or cat for Thanksgiving.
For example, the LifeLine Animal Project in Atlanta is serving up an extra bit of cheer this holiday season by allowing families to foster animals for the entire week leading up to Turkey Day. In their Facebook post about the program, they say the shelter will even provide you with supplies for fostering an animal:
And last year, after a successful Thanksgiving fostering program, the Humane Society of Delaware County in Ohio also offered the option to take a pet home for Christmas and New Year’s, too. In fact, this pup they posted on Instagram looks 100 percent ready to snuggle when you need to nap after the big Thanksgiving meal:
You can always check in with your local shelter to see if fostering over Thanksgiving is an option. Some shelters have an internal program for holiday fostering that allows their regular volunteers to host a pet, but not the general public. Sounds like one more reason to help out at your local animal shelter!