Why Would Someone Foster a Pet?
How would you like to change the world for just one animal? Fostering a pet is the way to do it. You get to love and nurture them until a forever family can be found. Besides, it’s possible that you would be the very first person to ever show that dog or cat any love! And it’s quite possible that by fostering a pet, you could be saving their life!
Shelters and rescues can only handle so many animals at any given time. If it is a no-kill shelter, if they can’t find anyone to foster the over-flow of animals, they usually try contacting other no-kill shelters to see if they have room for more. That means that the poor animals get moved around once again. And if it isn’t a no-kill shelter, well, I’m pretty sure you know what happens to them there. Being in a shelter is very scary for animals! They have no idea why they’re there!
Some people will foster a pet to help them get through the grieving process after having lost one of their own beloved pets. And in most cases, it’s just what the doctor ordered. It gives them a chance to love and be loved again. Who doesn’t want that?
Doesn’t Fostering a Pet Just ‘Move’ and Confuse the Animal Again?
Yes, but moving them into a foster home is better for them than having to stay in the shelter. The shelter may be over crowded, and by fostering as many animals as they can, this allows them to make room for new additions (and there are always more to come). This gives the shelter a chance to find out more about the animal (from you), so they are better able to find them the best forever home for them.
If you have other pets, fostering also allows the animal to get used to being around other animals, which also helps the shelter to know more about him or her. And it gives your dog or cat a friend to play with!
What Are the Foster Parent’s Responsibilities?
The biggest responsibility any foster parent has, is to love and play with their foster pet. How easy is that! They may also need to be taught to walk on a leash. As for the rest, the shelter is usually responsible for paying for any vet bills, as well as any medications they may need. The majority of the shelters, will even pay for their food.
What Happens if I Become Attached and Don’t Want to Give it Back?
That’s perfectly fine! You don’t have to! You can always adopt it and you would become their forever home! It happens, and that’s ok. Shelters will most commonly give the fosters the first choice of adopting the pet. If you’ve already been approved to foster a pet, then you may not have to go through the entire application process. They do need an application for their records, but they’ve already done all their up-front legwork in approving you to be a foster parent, so everything is pretty much a formality.
Please don’t think that you don’t want to foster a pet because you don’t want to adopt another animal. In the majority of cases, the foster parents do become attached to their foster, but they also know that they’ve been responsible for giving them a good start, and that they’ll be going to a loving forever home. And that makes it not hurt so much to give it back.
Just know that you’ve most likely saved this animal’s life. And by giving it up to a new, loving family, that gives you the chance to save another life! How cool is that!
By becoming a foster parent to a homeless animal, you could be the first person to show them what love is all about. They don’t get that in a shelter. You may possibly be saving it’s life, because some shelters can only hold onto them for as long as they have room. Plus, you get some unconditional love yourself! What could be better?
If you have any questions, please contact your local animal shelter or rescue. They’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.
If you’ve ever fostered a pet, please comment about your experience(s) below. You may well be giving an undecided person just what they need to go for it. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that you could be responsible for getting a family to foster a pet?
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