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Stratford Perth Humane Society program allowing students to foster pets for community service hours

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The Stratford Perth Humane Society has launched a new program that gives high school students the chance to foster pets while getting in their volunteer community service hours.

“Which would help us to free up space here so that we can continue to provide even more care to animals in need,” said Stacy Mclellan, volunteer coordinator with the Stratford Humane Society.

Students aged 14 to 17 are eligible to participate after completing an interview process. Any costs associated with taking care of the pet are covered.

“Their food, any enrichment items, all the toys they might like. Our small animals go home with their closures,” said Mclellan.

The pets that are available for fostering include healthy adult cats and small pets like bunnies or guinea pigs.

Staff at the humane society said the goal is to expand the pilot program to students in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.

“They got lots of training and really get to learn what it takes to look after an animal," said Mclellan.

Grade 10 student Lillie Riehl recently took home her fifth cat in just a few months as a part of the program.

“I like the cat cuddles a lot. It’s very nice,” she said.

Riehl already has around 80 hours completed which is more than the required 40 hours for school.

“I thought this would be a fun and good way to do it,” she said.

Riehl said the last two cats she fostered she ended up adopting.

“My heart broke because I knew that they would be given away,” Riehl said.

Staff at the humane society said student foster parents could have the pets for 24 hours or a few months, depending on the animal.

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