A Lackawanna County-based leadership program has teamed up with the Griffin Pond Animal Shelter in the hopes that area residents will open their homes to some four-legged friends in need of some TLC.

Leadership Lackawanna, part of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, annually runs a 10-month core program designed to further professional development. The program chooses several non-profit organizations that area professionals then assist with various needs.

Leadership Lackawanna is hoping to help the Griffin Pond Animal Shelter raise awareness about its “Foster-A-Pet” program.

“The Foster-A-Pet Program is fairly new to Griffin Pond,” explained Laura Duda, one of this year’s Leadership Lackawanna participants. “At one point, the shelter had about 22 foster families but they went down to none. The shelter wanted our program to brand and market the fostering program in a sustainable way so they could take over following our involvement. Leadership will be involved for 10 months and we are hoping to create something that they could keep.”

One way Leadership Lackawanna will spread the word about Foster-A-Pet will be the “Feel Good Friday” event this Friday, Jan. 10, from 5-7 p.m. at the Backyard Ale House, 523 Linden St., Scranton. Tickets for the event are $20 and include an open bar, appetizers, raffles and live music by Tom Graham.

Duda explained that it is events like “Feel Good Friday” that will help spread the word about pet fostering. Leadership Lackawanna is also hoping to plan a pet expo this spring.

“The program hasn’t ever been fully established at the shelter, so we are trying to get this going from the ground up,” she said. “A lot of people, still, are not aware that the shelter has this program. They immediately associate Griffin Pond with adoption, so this is really to raise awareness that there is fostering available. Anyone can foster. You may not want to make that long-term commitment right away, but you might want to give something to the animals.”

County-wide, Leadership Lackawanna is also assisting with 15-year anniversary celebrations for Dress for Success Lackawanna in Scranton and helping to promote the greenhouse project of Shalom Scranton at Nay Aug Park.

For Duda, getting to help the Griffin Pond Animal Shelter means, hopefully, helping an animal find a permanent home.

“On any given day, the shelter has approximately 48 dogs on the adoption floor, but they can house up to 92,” she said. “Fostering is a great way to help extend the lives of the pets because if they can get them out into foster homes, the shelter may not have to euthanize them. It is a place for pets to live pending adoption.”

For more information on the Griffin Pond Animal Shelter’s Foster-A-Pet program, visit www.griffinpondanimalshelter.com or call 570-586-3700.