Robert Cox Jr.
GREENSBURG - The Greensburg-Decatur County Animal Shelter is currently holding its annual "Animal Home for the Holiday" program.
The program matches shelter animals with loving foster families during the holiday season.
The hope, according to assistant animal control officer Kristen Hobbs, is for the majority of the animals to ultimately be adopted by their foster families.
"We welcome anyone in Decatur County to apply to serve as a foster family for one of our animals," Hobbs said.
According to Hobbs, to be eligible, applicants for the foster program must interview and be approved with either Laura Johnston, the shelter manager, or Allisha Christianson, the shelter's foster coordinator.
The interview is mainly conducted, Hobbs explained, to get a sense of applicant personalities and to help match each with an appropriate animal.
Applicants must also meet certain qualifications, including being a Decatur County resident.
They must be willing and able to abide by all animal control ordinances, and can't have violated any of those ordinances within the last year. Interested applicants can review the ordinances at www.cityofgreensburg.com/animal.html.
Hobbs added, "We prefer the animals be kept indoors and not housed outside. After they choose their animal, we expect foster families to take care of them as if they're a family member."
Animal control, Hobbs said, will handle any emergencies experienced while the animals are being fostered, including all related expenses.
Additionally, in the event another family decides they wish to adopt an animal who is in foster care, the foster family takes priority over the second family.
"It rarely happens," Hobbs said, "but if there's a conflict, the foster family can choose to immediately adopt. If not, they have to release the animal to us for adoption."
After being approved, foster families will pick up their animals Dec. 22. If the foster family doesn't adopt, they must return the animal Jan. 3, 2012.
Foster families may select a cat or a dog from the shelter.
If the family chooses to adopt, dogs have an adoption fee of $100 and unaltered cats are $75; a cat that came to the shelter already spayed or neutered is $40.
The fee covers all vetting, including appropriate shots and worming. The prices also includes 30 days of free pet insurance, which covers accidental death and health-related vet bills.
For more information on the Decatur County Animal Shelter's "Animal Home for the Holidays" program, call the shelter at 663-9081.
Contact Robert Cox at 812-663-3111 x7011.