Thinking of fostering an animal? Yesh! Here are a few fast facts to help you get started.
Fostering saves lives. Often, shelters and rescue groups don’t have the space to keep all the animals who come to them in need. In such cases, foster “parents” can provide temporary, life-saving housing for animals who have nowhere else to go.
Fostering animals makes them more adoptable. Foster homes provide shy or anxious animals with a critical opportunity to become more socialized. They get used to being around different people, animals, environments, smells, you name it — and they’ll appear friendlier and happier to adopters looking for a permanent commitment. Fostering also helps to ensure that animals who are already socialized don’t become too stressed or develop behavioral issues while in transition.
Fostering, though temporary, requires dedication and responsibility. Caring for a foster animal means being available for exercise and meals, preparing a safe place in your home where the animal can play, and providing lots of compassion and attention. Sometimes it also means driving them to/from the vet if they’re ill, or making trips to a shelter so they can meet with potential adopters.
Every rescue group has its own fostering policies. Some groups provide supplies like food or litter, though not all do. The expected length of commitment varies as well, depending on both the organization and the animal in need of fostering. Most groups require interviews for foster parents; some require training sessions and conduct home visits.
Fostering can be emotionally tough … Saying goodbye to a beloved foster pet who’s just been adopted, or nursing an unhealthy pup or kitty back to health, can take an emotional toll on an animal lover.
… but it’s totally worth it. Seriously! A foster guardian’s willingness to help homeless animals is just one of the things that makes this world a beautiful place. And remember, you just might save a life!
For more information, contact your local shelter or check out this guide to fostering from Petfinder.com.