Series Of Volunteer Foster Homes Helps Animals



Contributed by: Maria Pericozzi

OSWEGO – “They’re the kindest people around,” said Kelly Rainville, an Oswego resident. “If they can help an animal, they will.”

The Oswego County Humane Society, a not-for-profit corporation located at 29 W. Seneca St. in Oswego, doesn’t operate like a normal animal shelter.

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Instead, the organization is a series of volunteer foster homes that care for an animal until they are adopted.

Rainville has fostered animals through the Oswego County Humane Society since last August. She said she has had a good experience with the organization and thinks the foster system works.

“The foster system is a great system,” Rainville said. “Being in the foster system, if [the animals] don’t know how to be a pet, they can learn to be a pet. They learn that getting loved is OK and that it is not bad to have a human touch them.”

Steph Przepiora, a hall director for Oswego State’s Residence Life and Housing, rescued her cat in October through the Oswego County Humane Society.

“I think the foster system works awesome, because Merle walked right in my apartment and curled up on the couch,” Przepiora said. “He wasn’t timid of people and he is just so sweet and cuddly, which I attribute to living in a home instead of in an animal shelter.”

According to the Oswego County Humane Society website, the society was organized in 2000 by a group of concerned Oswego County residents. In 2000, Oswego County was one of only two counties in the state that did not have a public or private county-wide shelter facility.

The Oswego County Humane Society relies on individual donors and local businesses for support and funding.

They do not receive government funding, except for minimal surrender fees when they take dogs from local Dog Control Offices into their foster program.


Forty-eight percent of donations provide funding for animal rescue and adoption programs, 26 percent provide funding for spay and neuter services, 7 percent provide funding for community education and outreach, and the remaining 19 percent provides administrative and fundraising support, according to the OCHS website.

In addition to donations, the society holds various fundraisers throughout the year including a dinner and a movie event in the fall.

This past dinner and a movie was held in late October at the Lake Ontario Conference Center, watching the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

The society just recently held its Fur Ball. The event, on April 29 at The American Foundry, was a formal wine tasting and dinner with live entertainment, with all funds benefiting the Oswego County Humane Society.

The event also included a silent auction, a showcase of animal-themed floral arrangements from local floral shops and desserts made by local bakeries.

Although the foster families are volunteers, the Oswego County Humane Society provides veterinary care, equipment and assistance to foster families.

Hordes of (cute) KittensHordes of (cute) Kittens

“[Oswego County Humane Society] provides all the vet care and if you need kitty litter, they provide that,” Rainville said. “They provide all the cat food too. They’re amazing.”

Rainville recommends that people use the Oswego County Humane Society.

“Instead of going out and purchasing a pet, go to your local shelter, go to your local humane society and adopt out of them because there are so many animals that need homes,” Rainville said.

Przepiora said she recommends that anyone looking to adopt should go to the Oswego County Humane Society.

“Everyone I spoke to at the humane society and the foster mom were so helpful and really wanted me to find the right furry buddy for me, and I definitely did,” Przepiora said.

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.

Located at 29 W. Seneca St., Oswego, NY.
Phone: 315-207-1070.
Email: [email protected]

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The photos are just some of the felines that can be adopted. To find the one that’s right for you, please contact the OCHS)