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Animal Update: Tax Deduction For Foster Pet Parents

(KCBS) - Pet fostering: have you heard of it?

Shelters sometimes ask volunteers to foster animals.

"We ask people to foster animals that aren't quite ready for adoption, these are usually puppies or kittens that are underage and they need some nursing care and socialization," explained Jennifer Scarlett, DVM, co-president of the San Francisco SPCA. "They can also be recovering from injuries or illnesses."

A judge recently ruled that pet "foster parents" can deduct expenses such as food and medicine on their taxes.

"This has got to be great news for foster parents," enthused Scarlett. "The IRS has agreed to recognize expenses that people use for fostering dogs and cats form approved charities, so these are charities that have a 501(c)(3) tax status. Things like pet food, medicine, veterinary bills can be credited to your tax bill and expenses more than about $250 may require a letter from the organization that you're fostering from."

Animal Update: Tax Credit for Foster Pet Parents

Still, there are other things to consider before fostering a pet.

"They should check with their landlord, whether or not they can have pets in their house or apartment. Then, if they have other pets or children, that can be a consideration. Our foster parents go through special training on how to nurse puppies and kittens," said Scarlett.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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