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Petco Love Celebrates Foster a Pet Month, Reminds Pet Lovers You Can Save a Life

National Nonprofit Inspires Girl Scout Sophia Gillen to Make a Difference in the World of Pet Fostering

MORRIS COUNTY — National nonprofit organization Petco Love celebrates June as National Foster a Pet Month to inspire communities to get involved and support their local animal shelters by temporarily fostering pets. Created by the organization in 2019, June is National Foster a Pet Month, and it encourages people to foster a pet ahead of the most challenging summer months when animal shelters are overrun.

“Shelters across the nation are in crisis. And loving, happy, healthy pets are at risk of being euthanized simply due to lack of space. Pet fostering is the answer to eliminating unnecessary euthanasia of shelter pets. If just 2% more of the 87 million pet-owning households fostered just one pet a year, we could end euthanasia in America’s shelters tomorrow,” said Petco Love President Susanne Kogut.

Kogut attributes the lifesaving success of a mid-sized shelter she led almost 20 years ago to their robust fostering program that increased pets in foster care by over 600%. She is also a dedicated pet foster, having fostered over 500 pets. “Fostering is easier than people think,” said Kogut. “I encourage more people just to try it. Whether you foster for a short time or until a pet is ready for adoption, you will give that kitten, cat, puppy, adult dog, or senior pet, a break from the shelter. Allowing them to experience your love and home will make all the difference, especially if that pet faces euthanasia. Fostering saves lives.”

Young pet lover Sophia Gillen, 16, from Mountain Lake, heard the foster a pet message loud and clear. Inspired by Petco Love’s Foster a Pet Month, Sophia created a petition urging New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy to prioritize pet fostering. Sophia’s advocacy led Governor Murphy to declare June as Foster a Pet Month in the state, marking a significant step in the nationwide effort to prioritize fostering pets.

Sophia’s journey began as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project, fittingly named “Phenomenal Foster Pets.” After eight months of dedicated communication with the governor’s office, her passion and perseverance resulted in this important recognition. She also created a fun lesson to teach scouts of all ages about the importance of fostering, how to advocate for shelter dogs and cats, and how to earn a one-of-a-kind pet fostering patch.

“I want to inspire other Girl Scouts and young advocates to take similar actions in their states,” said Sophia Gillen. “Many animals can be saved when state leaders commit to animal welfare. I hope to see Foster a Pet Month recognized across all 50 states.”

“Sophia is an imposing young woman,” said Kogut. “Her drive and commitment to animal welfare at such a young age are truly inspiring. We are excited to highlight her achievements and support her goal of expanding this initiative nationwide.”

In May, Morris Focus featured Sophia Gillen. Click here to read the article.

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Frank L. Cahill
Frank L. Cahill
Publisher of Parsippany Focus since 1989 and Morris Focus since 2019, both covering a wide range of events. Mr. Cahill serves as the Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, President of Kiwanis Club of Tri-Town and Chairman of Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board.
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