People Behind the Pets showcases specific members of the animal community who have amazing stories to share. Recently, we had the privilege of speaking with Alison Eastwood about her involvement within the animal rescue community and her new pet foster networking website, FosterFurkids.com. The first 100 people that sign up to be a foster pet parent from the date of this post will receive a Petcurean FosterFurkids care package!
Let’s start at the beginning. When did you first realize that you wanted to work with animals?
Alison: I have always loved animals, ever since I was a little girl. I grew up in a very natural environment with lots of wildlife and my parents were always animal lovers. Then, as an adult I started to see what was going on in the world with animals, especially within shelters here in California. So, in my 30s I wanted to take my appreciation and turn it into something that would make a difference.
Can you give us a brief description of what FosterFurkids.com is and what the online network’s mission is all about?
Alison: FosterFurkids.com is an informational tool but it’s primarily a way to connect rescues and shelters with pet fosters. So, we kinda like to think of it as a Match.com, but without the romance. A lot of people don’t know that fostering is such an integral part of rescue and this has become a great way to get people connected in their communities with their local rescues.
You also founded Eastwood Ranch back in 2012, have saved hundreds of animals and created some amazing awareness for animal welfare and rescue. What inspired you to take on this new project?
Alison: I have to give some credit here to my rescue partner, Maissa. This was Maissa’s brain child. She realized that there wasn’t one place that people could go to find out if they could help. So she came up with the idea and we decided to make it a reality. It’s not just for us, it’s for anyone in the nation that is involved in a rescue or might want to foster or even transport an animal. It was born out of necessity.
If someone is interested in becoming a foster, what is one of the main pieces of advice or information you think they should know?
Alison: It’s very important to make sure you know what you can or can’t handle. Think about your lifestyle, where you live and how much time you can give a shelter pet. This will all factor into what kind of pet you should foster.
Also, a great part about the website is you can go in and be extremely detailed regarding breed, age, size, gender and any medical concerns. You can literally see exactly what is available and get very specific so that a successful match is made.
If someone isn’t able to currently foster, what are some other ways they can contribute to FosterFurkids.com?
Alison: Another awesome thing about the website is that it’s also for people who might be able to transport animals. There are a lot of rescues out there who aren’t able to run down to the shelter if a dog or cat is on the euthanasia list because they have to work all day. But, with FosterFurkids.com there is now a way to connect rescues with people who are able to transport the animal and pull it to safety. So, that’s an easy way to contribute if you have a car and love animals and are able to pick them up. You will also get your mileage taken care of.
If you aren’t able to transport, there is also a section on the website where you are able to see animals that rescues are trying to take from a shelter and you can give a pledge to that animal. Pledges make a huge difference for rescues!
And if you aren’t able to do those two things you can just share the love. Either through word of mouth or social media, share the website and spread the word.
What is your dream for FosterFurkids.com? How would you like to see it develop and create a difference?
Alison: Our dream for FosterFurkids.com is to end up being this wonderful place that will bring people together. We would love to create this online community where people can help each other help animals. Our goal is to be North American wide and then hopefully to even expand on an international level.
At Petcurean, we live by the motto “We put pets first”, how do you personally put pets first?
Alison: Well, I definitely put pets first quite a bit. They are a huge priority in our house and in our rescue. My husband and I don’t have kids, so these are our fur kids. We would rather put off a fun social experience in order to go out and rescue an animal. For us, it’s more important to save an animal than show up at a cocktail party.
How is pet nutrition important to you and to the animals you foster or adopt?
Alison: Pet nutrition is very important. I think that there is a misconception, or maybe people don’t pay attention as much. But people need to think about pets as themselves. You wouldn’t go to McDonald’s three times a day, so why would you want to do that for your pet?
If you want your animal to live longer and be healthier and live a good life, it’s very important to pay attention to what you are feeding your pet. That’s why I think Petcurean is so amazing. When you can look at the bag and you can pronounce what you are reading, it’s just so great! There is nothing hidden.
We have to know. You’ve played many roles in your life including being an actress, a model, a director, and a producer. But, how does the role as an animal advocate differ and stand out to you?
Alison: I will tell you it is definitely by far my greatest achievement. I had a lot of fun in Hollywood. But at the end of the day what I am doing in my rescue is what I am most proud of in my life. In the end, I want to leave the world a little better than how I came into it.
If you’re interested in being a foster pet parent, or helping out rescues, please check out FosterFurkids.com. The first 100 people that sign up to be a foster pet parent from the date of this post will receive a Petcurean FosterFurkids care package!
Pet fostering offers the perks of pet ownership without the cost and long-term commitment. When you foster a dog or cat, you are saving a life by freeing up space for rescues to save more animals in desperate need.
FosterFurkids.com makes it easy for animal lovers who may not be in a position to adopt, to make an immediate difference. Rescues provide food, beds, leashes, bowls, and veterinary care so it doesn’t cost a thing.
Anyone interested in becoming a foster can sign up to connect with rescues and shelters that need temporary fosters homes. Users can set up their own foster profile, and list their preferences including the type of animal they want to foster, breed, age, energy level and length of time they can commit to fostering. They can also select whether they want to be a volunteer or paid foster, and set their own rates. We encourage you to participate in any way that you can!
“I was able to put Molly on NOW FRESH™ Grain Free Senior after getting information via e-mail from your very helpful staff…I know she is getting good nutrition with NOW FRESH™ Senior...her diabetes is stable and her pancreas has settled down…Molly is doing great! Thanks!”