Pet foster volunteers needed as Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe expands its reach

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Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 11:00 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - In the past year, the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe (HSTT) has seen an influx of animals coming to its shelter.

However, the animals are not being brought in by locals. The pets are being transferred from shelters around the country filled beyond capacity.

“I think some it has to do with COVID,” said Erin Ellis, community management director at HSTT. “Some people got animals under impulse or just from being at home, and now life has changed. I think for some people they’ve been put under a position where they had to move or lifestyle changes and they’ve had to give up an animal for that reason.”

Ellis believes the influx may also be the result of pet owners not being able to spay or neuter their animals due to the pandemic.

“Because we’re starting to see a lot of young healthy, adult dogs, entering shelters that are right around what that age would’ve been,” said Ellis.

Working with other 30 shelters, the humane society has helped more than 400 animals.

With wildfire season coming up, they’re looking for volunteers to participate in its foster program.

“If disaster were to strike and there was a fire to go through, we are the shelter that would help our community pets,” said Ellis. “We would have to foster out every pet on the shelter to be able to bring in those community pets in here.”

For that reason alone, keeping a large foster base it’s important.

Cherri Gillmore has been a volunteer at the HSTT for 15 years and says what keeps her going is knowing she’s one step in that animal’s path to success.

“I will...take ill, minorly-ill kittens or the under socialized and helped them get to trust people,” said Gillmore. “People always ask, especially about the fostering portion, ‘How can you do that? How don’t you keep every one of them?’ is like, well first I’ll be a crazy cat lady and second, I can do it because I know they’re going to come here and I know they’re going to get adopted. there is no doubt in my mind.”

To learn more about the program, visit or call 530-587-5948, or follow HSTT on Facebook at

To become a foster family, please reach out to Samantha Laroche, foster program manager, at

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