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Open your home to a shelter animal

LHS foster
The Lakeland Humane Society is looking for foster families to give dogs like Buck a break from the shelter. Submitted photo.

COLD LAKE – The Lakeland Humane Society (LHS) is looking for foster families who will open up their homes to their animals during this time.

After receiving a flood of inquiries from residents, LHS shelter manager Nicole Mbanefo said they organized the initiative to give their long-term pets a break from the shelter.

“Lots of people have still been asking if they can bring donations, what we need, and what we’re looking for. It’s been really heartwarming, especially with everything that’s going on right now people are still thinking about the animals and about other non-profits, which is really nice,” she expressed. “We were getting tons of questions about fostering, which is why we decided to open up this program and hopefully see some of our long-term dogs either get a break from the shelter or get adopted.”

The LHS posts the photos of animals looking for fosters on their social media page, along with their individualized checklist of requirements so those interested can determine if they'd be a good fit.

How long an animal will stay in someone’s care is currently up to the foster family. If there’s a problem, Mbanefo stressed it’s not an issue to bring the pet back to the shelter.

For those interested in applying to be a foster family, LHS staff will send the application over email before a meet and greet is arranged.

“We try to match you up with an animal that fits your home, and that you can meet the needs and requirements of that animal,” detailed Mbanefo.

Most of the animals looking for foster homes are long-term residents of the shelter.

“That typically means there’s one reason or another why they haven’t been adopted and why they’re still here.”

For their dogs such as Buck, Newt, and Kovach, they need to be the only four-legged friend in the home.

“They can’t go to homes with cats,and they’re kind of picky about other dogs,” Mbanefo said. “That’s kind of the reason why they haven’t been adopted from here, but it would be a really great time for them to either get fostered and get a little bit of training and extra attention, or hopefully the foster family falls in love with them and applies to adopt them.”

Since the shelter environment can be stressful for dogs, Mbanefo believes the foster program can be a great opportunity for families to see just how loveable their animals are.

“Some of the dogs that have been here for a long time, they don’t show very well at the shelter. It’s quite overwhelming and loud. A lot of them bark and jump in their kennels, which is very typical behaviour for a dog who is looking for extra attention and aren’t quite getting enough exercise,” she stated. “Once they’re out and away from here, they tend to turn into a completely different dog.”

While Mbanefo hopes some of the foster terms end in adoption, she just appreciates residents giving some of their long-term clients a chance for extra love and attention while they're unable to have volunteers come into the humane society.

Inquiries about foster applications can be sent to LHS at or through their social media page.

Robynne Henry, Bonnyville Nouvelle

Robynne Henry

About the Author: Robynne Henry

Reporter for the Bonnyville Nouvelle
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