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Experts say fostering pets is beneficial for mental health

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The stay-at-home order is proving helpful for animals in need of homes. More people are fostering potential pets and experts say that’s beneficial on the mental health front, too.

Two hundred animals are looking for foster homes right now and IndyHumane has gained more than 150 new foster applications.

The surge in applications went up after the first stay-at-home order. IndyHumane is still accepting applications but they’re holding off on the virtual orientations as they’re working with a limited staff and so many animals just went out the door to temporary homes.

It costs them between $100 and $300 for food and supplies per foster animal. There’s no set time frame for how long you want keep the animal or it bring back. But IndyHumane says knowing a pet is in your home and wanting to give you love at a time like this, can ease our mind.

“This uncertainty is and the great amount of change we are experiencing minute by minute can really put a lot of pressure on someone’s mental health,” IndyHumane Society fundraising associate, Gabby Hoyt said. “It’s easy to feel your anxiety growing and it’s a little harder to take care of yourself mentally when we have all these things going on around us.”

IU Health clinical physiologist Danielle Henderson says there are ways pets can decrease our level of stress and can decrease feelings of loneliness. They can help force us to establish a daily routine, which pushes us to be active no matter what mood we are in. Most importantly, feeding and caring for our pet and its habitat can remind us to care for ourselves.

If you’d like to submit an application to foster a pet, head to if you’d like to make a donation, click here.