The Humane Society of Ocean City, a no-kill animal shelter in Ocean City, is launching a new foster-care program, Silver Whiskers, to provide homes for its senior animals in their last months or years of life.
Humane Society manager Angela Coyle, who came up with the idea, said people are often apprehensive about adopting a senior cat or dog because of the high medical costs associated with senior pet care. But under the Silver Whiskeys program, the shelter will pay the medical and care costs associated with the animal in exchange for the promise of a safe and happy foster home. The animal will still be owned by the HSOC, unless the foster family decides to permanently adopt it, and the foster family will still have to pass the same qualifications that come with an animal adoption.
The thought behind the program is that if the animal is not adopted, the shelter would be paying for its care anyway and the animal will be caged. With Silver Whiskers, the animal is able to spend the rest of its life out of the shelter.
"All of our animals are surrenders, meaning they once lived in a home, so they know what they're missing," Coyle said.
Additionally, the program will result in more open space in the shelter for newly arriving cats and dogs.
The program is being finalized and will be in place in the coming weeks. Currently, the shelter has about 15 cats and one dog that would qualify for the program, Coyle said. If all goes well, which she expects it will, the program will be a permanent option at the shelter.
For more information on Humane Society of Ocean City's Silver Whiskers program, call 609-399-2018.
Contact Elisa Lala:
The Silver Whiskey program is being dedicated in memory of Hope, a cat who recently died as a result of being dragged behind a vehicle on Ocean City streets. Ocean City police are still looking for leads to make an arrest of the person or persons responsible for Hope's death. Anyone with information concerning the animal cruelty case may call Animal Control Services for Ocean City at 609-398-4500, or the Ocean City Police Department at 609-399-9111.