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City of Bloomington Animal Shelter Receives Grant from PetSmart Charities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2008

For more information:
Laurie Ringquist, Director, Animal Care and Control, City of Bloomington, 349-3870

Bloomington, IN
- Mayor Mark Kruzan announced today that the City of Bloomington Animal Shelter recently received an $11,215 grant from PetSmart Charities. The grant will be used to enhance the foster program and to implement an initiative aimed at reducing the number of dogs returned to the shelter.

Since 1994, PetSmart Charities has given more than $70 million to animal welfare programs that save the lives of homeless pets.

The grant from PetSmart Charities will allow the Animal Shelter to purchase and provide necessary supplies to foster parents. Supplies include crates, exercise pens, toys, bowls, litter boxes, leashes and collars, as well as treating all foster animals with Revolution or Frontline medication.

"We hope that this additional level of support will encourage more people to become foster parents and will make it easier for existing foster parents to foster more often," said Laurie Ringquist, Director of the City's Animal Care and Control division. "Our foster families are a very valuable part of our life-saving team. We couldn't help as many animals as we do without their participation."

"Being a foster parent is so rewarding," said foster parent, Suzanne Hampton, who has fostered both puppies and kittens for the Shelter. "To see these little ones grow up and go on to their forever homes is a great joy. But it also is a lot of work. The supplies the shelter will provide will help me take better care of these little ones."

Also, part of the funds will be used to purchase copies of a book called "Family Friendly Dog Training" by Patricia McConnell, which will be given to first-time dog adopters.

"We hope to provide additional support to ease the transition as families bring a new dog home," said Dr. Jo Liska, Outreach Coordinator/Behavior Consultant with the City's Animal Care and Control division. "Our goal is to reduce the number of dogs returned to the shelter for behavior reasons that could be resolved with some training."

In 2007 the City of Bloomington Animal Shelter received more than 4,800 animals. Many of those animals were placed in temporary foster homes due to age, illness, socialization or training. Other animals were fostered while they awaited transport to rescue or other shelters.

Since 2003 the Animal Shelter has operated a foster program and currently has approximately 40 active foster parents who foster more than 800 animals per year. However, there are many more animals that would benefit from a foster home, especially puppies and kittens. The shelter currently has only a few foster families willing to foster litters of puppies.

For additional information or to become a foster parent, please contact the shelter at 812-349-3492 or visit its web site at www.bloomington.in.gov/animalshelter.

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