LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — It’s the time of year where animal rescues are filled with dogs and many places are looking to find more foster families to help keep shelters from overcrowding.

If anyone has been considering becoming a foster parent to an animal, now is a better time than ever.

Local animal rescues emphasize the benefits a dog living in a home versus having to stay in a shelter.

“If I could tell people one thing, I would say to take a leap, and take a leap on something that makes a really big difference,” said Grace Noyola, a volunteer at New Hope Pet Rescue.

Noyola has first hand experience leaping into fostering animals. She says it’s the most rewarding feeling to give a dog a home.

“Rescues, especially those like us who are foster-based, step in to help lighten that burden. The result is that if shelters are overcrowded, animals can be marked for euthanasia. And that can include pregnant moms, young dogs, dogs that are friendly. It’s just pure overcrowding,” she said.

“This has been the hardest year in rescue for a lot of us, pretty much any organization will tell you that,” said Patience Cole, director and founder of Happy Feet Pet Rescue.

Cole is also a foster mom, and her hope is to find a home for all their animals.

 “We are seeing owner surrenders in record highs. I think our owner surrender waiting list has hit over 150 animals at this point,” Cole said.

She reminds people of how easy fostering can be.

“Really your job is just to love on them. If it’s a dog, teach them how to dog. If it’s a cat, teach them how to cat,” she said.

When fostering a dog, all expenses are paid for, like food, toys and medical bills.

And there are options for how long you would like to foster.

“I love that whether you’re a senior, a young family with kids, a single person, a working professional, you can do this work and you can make such a difference. And the result is that lives are saved,” Noyola said .

They have dogs of all types to fit any person.

“His name is Ole Red. He’s gonna be a great foster for someone who just wants a low energy couch potato. Just a companion that can hang out with him and let him have somewhere comfortable to go,” Cole said.

Both Happy Feet and New Hope allow you to sign up online to become a foster parent or family.