Pixabay, orange cat

In honor of National Shelter Appreciation Week (Nov. 7-13), Greater Good Charities, a national nonprofit that works to improve the health and well-being of people, pets and the planet, and St. Charles, Mo.-based Royal Canin, maker of science-based cat and dog diets, launched the Feline Foster Heroes Contest via FelineFoster.org. Through Nov. 19, the public is invited to nominate individuals who go above and beyond to work with animal shelters and rescues to foster cats, resulting in increased adoptions.

“We often hear of volunteers or animal shelter employees going above and beyond to help save lives with pet foster programs, and not getting any recognition,” said Liz Baker, CEO of Greater Good Charities. “We want to use National Shelter Appreciation Week to shine a light on the work these foster heroes do, reward them for their work and help the shelters they care so much about.”

Greater Good Charities believes home environments are best for the health and well-being of a pet, according to the organization. In addition to providing the pet with more space, a home allows pets to thrive while forming bonds with their foster caregivers.

Nominations will close on Nov. 19 at 11:59 p.m. PST, and then a panel of judges will select the top 10 Feline Foster Heroes for the public to vote on from Dec. 6-17. The Feline Foster Hero with the most votes will be announced on Dec. 20. This grand prize winner will receive a $5,000 cash grant for their animal welfare organization, and the two runner ups will each receive a $1,000 cash grant for their animal welfare organization. Additionally, each of the 10 finalists are eligible to receive a $500 gift card for personal use.

FelineFoster.org, presented by Royal Canin, is a resource for the feline fostering community that is focused on improving the care for homeless cats by supporting a national network of foster caregivers and helping animal welfare organizations become foster-centric.