Fostering Pets in a Pandemic

By Taylor Huestis

You may have heard stories that more pets were quickly adopted during the pandemic. But that wasn’t the case at the Nova Scotia SPCA.

When the lockdown hit, adoptions were actually paused for six weeks. When we were able to reopen, public health protocols led to a more involved application process. Because of this, families who adopted were really ready for the long-term commitment.

Animals continued coming in as normal. Only now… we had to figure out a way to manage the health risks in our small spaces.

Thankfully, the one big rise we experienced was one we desperately needed… more fosters.

Animal shelters and rescues often rely on fosters to help care for pets who need extra TLC or are too young for adoption. The SPCA provides all the supplies and fosters open their hearts and homes until the pet is ready for their new family.

Like many first-time fosters, Lindsay Reynolds started during the lockdown. And she hasn’t stopped. In fact, she has fostered 16 pets for the Pictou County SPCA now!

“We began fostering at the beginning of the pandemic,” Lindsay recalled. “I figured we’d all be home a lot more so why not? It’s always been intriguing to me but I didn’t know what all was involved. When I looked closer into the process I saw it was very doable!”

Fostering frees up space at the shelter and sets pets up for success, but it also has a lot of perks for foster families. One of those is having the opportunity to test out pet parenthood. If you love animals, but you’re not sure you’re ready for the full responsibility of a pet, fostering gives you a flexible experience.

“My middle boy wanted a cat SO BAD,” shared Lindsay. “So, fostering was my middle ground.”

Another big perk is the amazing memories you make and the lessons you learn.

“Getting to know their different personalities, wants and likes, there is no one-size fits all way of taking care of any creatures,” Lindsay explained. “They have taught me about patience and going at their pace. Comfort comes from trust, and trust from consistency!”

“Any time the kittens were big enough to explore a bit is a special memory,” continued Lindsay. “Especially when they decided our dog Lucy’s big fluffy tail is the best hiding spot/climbing wall in the house.”

And the best part of all? When you foster, you can see the difference you’re making.

“You can feel how important it is when those little creatures curl up next to you fully relaxed, not worrying about being in a strange place while they wait for their fur-ever homes,” Lindsay smiled. “This whole process is so rewarding. It feels weird to even be thanked! I’m the luckiest volunteer ever! I get to cuddle with kitties, and one old gentleman puppy, all the time! It is the easiest work ever!”



Taylor Huestis

Taylor is the Communications & Development Officer with the Nova Scotia SPCA and proud adoptive fur-mama to Bonnie and Boy. She is passionate about raising awareness and funds for local animals in need. Connect with Taylor at or 902-222-0378 today.