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New Palm Valley Animal Center initiative allows public to foster pets for 4 days

Palm Valley Animal Center (PVAC) is giving valley residents a chance to host a dog or cat without making a lifetime commitment, but there’s more to the opportunity than just being a temporary pet owner.

Palm Valley Animal Center (PVAC) is giving Rio Grande Valley residents a chance to host a dog or cat without making a lifetime commitment, but there’s more to the opportunity than just being a temporary pet owner.

The center on Sunday kicked off its #4Days4Life Project in which residents can foster an animal for four days.

"We are not trying to negate the reality of our community — which is pet overpopulation being a community crisis — but our community demanded ways for them to help and that's what we did,” said Director of Development of PVAC Rebecca Villanueva.

In an effort to find a solution for the growing population, PVAC has been working with organizations like Austin Pets Alive, which uses the same foster model. Executive Director of Austin Pets Alive Ellen Jefferson says the program has proved to work by eliminating distemper from shelter populations.

“Asking the community to be part of the solution and pick up an animal for four days gives us enough time to really clean and work on a new flow process for the animals, so that they're not accidentally exposed to disease while they're here,” said Jefferson.

Before the animals are adopted or sent out with their foster families, PVAC makes sure they have been vaccinated, given flea and tick medication and heartburn medication.

Staying with a host family for four days helps the vaccinations settle in and boost the animals’ immune system.

To foster a dog or cat, you must be 18 years or older. The opportunity is open to residents from all four counties.

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