You can now foster a dog over Thanksgiving: “No one should be alone”

A Las Vegas animal shelter is looking for people to spread a little holiday cheer by fostering a dog or cat over Thanksgiving.

The Animal Foundation in Las Vegas is urging families and individuals living in the Nevada area to help give some of the homeless canines and felines on their books a much-needed break from the shelter.

Now in its fifth year, the Foster for the Holidays program is due to commence on November 22 with animal lovers invited to come down to the shelter to pick out a cat or dog to take home for a well-earned vacation.

As part of the deal, the Animal Foundation will provide all the supplies needed. All they ask in return is that the foster carer commit to looking after their chosen pet for at least two weeks.

Some of the Animal Foundation’s previous foster dogs. The shelter is hoping some more canines can spend time away during the holidays.
The Animal Foundation

As an extra incentive, in the event that the family or individual chooses to adopt the pet they host, the Animal Foundation’s standard adoption fee will be waived.

Even if they choose not to adopt, a stay with a foster carer has been shown to be of huge benefit to shelter dogs, in terms of giving them undivided care and attention.

In 2018, a study published in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science concluded that just 15 minutes of focused, one-on-one petting was enough to boost the well-being of a shelter dog.

Alec Petronsky, foster program supervisor at The Animal Foundation, told Newsweek: “We have so many animals that have been in the shelter for an extended period, and they would all love to relax in a foster home. No one should be alone for the holidays, humans and animals alike.”

Petronsky said he took inspiration from the nationwide adoption event they host every summer with the goal of clearing the entire shelter. “I saw that, and I thought, why can’t we do this for Thanksgiving and Christmas? The animals get to relax in a comfortable home filled with holiday joy and surrounded by families,” he said.

Two rescue dogs with foster carers.
Two shelter dogs staying with foster carers. Studies have shown time away from the shelter can provide a significant boost.
The Animal Foundation

He’s seen plenty of success stories through the scheme already and it’s hugely useful even if the dogs involved don’t end up finding a home through it. “About a third of the animals who take part in this program are adopted by their fosters, or the fosters find the animal an adopter. It’s amazing,” he said. “Even if the animal doesn’t find an adopter during their foster stay, the information we gather about the shelter pet is invaluable in finding them the perfect forever home.”

All they are asking for is two weeks. Two weeks spent in the company of a dog or cat who, after a period of upheaval and uncertainty, will be desperate to have a holiday season to remember.

“We ask people to commit to two weeks of fostering,” Petronsky said. “Even if someone can’t take an animal for an extended amount of time in their home, we’ve seen how taking an animal for an overnight break from the shelter helps more than you would ever know.”

Do you have funny and adorable videos or pictures of your pet you want to share? Send them to with some details about your best friend and they could appear in our Pet of the Week lineup.