Fostering proves to be a rewarding experience

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - Fostering kittens has been a nurturing experience in more ways than one for a Lowcountry family.

Julie Burke and her 10-year-old daughter Megan took their two foster kittens to a routine check up at the Charleston Animal Society Thursday.

"It's just a fun thing to do," said Megan Burke. "If I'm bored at the house, and my friends aren't home, I can just go up to the kittens and play with them."

Julie Burke says it has taught all three of her kids responsibility while home for summer and brought the family closer together.

"It's definitely increased our quality time," she said.

The family has kept an online diary of their foster experience on a personalized Facebook page. It is their way to showcase the kitties to help them find a permanent home.

Joe Elmore, CEO of Charleston Animal Society, says foster parents play essential role.

"During the spring and summer months, there is just an abundance that has come in and most have been separated from their mothers so they need to be fostered," he said. "Many are less than a pound."

While you must be 18-years-old to foster, a household serving as a foster family, he says, provides great educational opportunities for children.

"Kids learn just how fragile life is and how much love and nourishment living creatures take and hopefully they will translate that understanding to how valuable life is to other humans," Elmore said.

To learn about volunteer opportunities, call CAS at 843-329-1558.

The animal society is offering free animals Wednesday June 26 through Sunday June 30.{}

The shelter is holding extended adoption hours for the event. They're open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.{}

Dogs from Charleston Animal Society are also available on weekends at PetSmart stores at 2076 Sam Rittenberg Blvd., West Ashley and 676 Long Point Rd. in Mount Pleasant.{} Adoption hours for these locations are Friday from Noon until 5:30 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from noon until 4 p.m.{}{}

There are also cats available every day at PetCo, located at 975 Savannah Hwy., West Ashley.{} Adoption hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.