ALLEGAN, Mich. (WOOD) — There are more than 100 animals in need of a foster home while the Allegan County Animal Shelter undergoes state-mandated building repairs beginning Jan. 19.  

The shelter’s director Susan Smith said the county is covering the cost of repairs, but it’s up to Wishbone Pet Rescue Alliance, the nonprofit that manages the shelter, to find a place for the dozens of cats and dogs under their care.  

“We’re going to be working with some boarding facilities, as well as a huge request for fosters, to help us house the animals for just that 30 days,” Smith said.  

The budget for boarding facilities is limited, which is why the shelter is counting on the community to step up during this time of need.  

Smith said the construction will take anywhere from four to six weeks as crews resurface the floors to bring them up to code.  

Fostering a pet is free of charge and the shelter will cover the cost of food and healthcare. 

While foster homes aren’t restricted to people living in Allegan County, the shelter will only choose foster homes within West Michigan. 

A dog at the Allegan County Animal Shelter on Dec. 14, 2019.
A dog at the Allegan County Animal Shelter on Dec. 14, 2019.

Smith said a little time away from the shelter will be good for the animals. 

“Give the animal a break from being in this very stressful shelter,” Smith said.  

Whether you take one, two or three pets to foster, Smith said it’s not unusual for an animal’s foster home to become their forever family. 

“That’s one of our best sources of getting animals out as people get to see them in their home and they’re like, ‘Oh my God, this is the perfect family member’ and then they move to adoption,” Smith said.  

If you can’t take home an animal yourself, there are still ways to donate to the cause.

The shelter needs $10,000 to board the animals without foster homes.  

Recently, an anonymous donor stepped forward and said if the shelter can raise the first $5,000, then the donor will match that amount to make up the rest.  

More information about fostering a pet can be found online. Those interested in fostering can find the application here.