FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — It’s the time of year to help those in need, including those on four legs. Dog rescue groups and local animal shelters across the region are asking people to foster animals over the holidays.

“We’re seeing a lot of puppies,” said Nauti Dawg Rescue Co-founder Andrea Bonnette. “We’re seeing a lot of dogs being returned with people going back to work, so the shelters are just overfull.”

The Florida non-profit says they need 15 foster homes right now in Okaloosa County. The holidays, they say, are a great time to foster.

“We would love for people to help over Christmas, especially during Thanksgiving and Christmas when everyone is home. They have the ability to spend more time working with our foster, ” said Amber Garcia, Co-Founder of Nauti Dawg Rescue.

Nauti Dawg Rescue is also bracing for a surge of dogs needing foster homes as people who bought them as holiday gifts decide to get rid of the animals.

“Definitely when February, March rolls around and the puppies get to be dogs and people don’t want them anymore, we will definitely see an uptick in that time,” said Garcia.

Groups like Nauti Dawg say spaying and neutering pets can stop unwanted litters from crowding shelters. In the meantime, they make it easy to foster.

“We will give everything for you, we will give the food, kennels, puppy pads, everything you might need,” said Bonnette.

If fostering is not an option, you can find other ways to help local shelters and rescue groups.

“If you can come and help us at adoption events, that would be great. If you could do a temporary one-time foster, we will take any help we can get,” said Bonnette.

For more about Nauti Dawg Rescue, click here.

A list of shelters in the area: