One of the things not all pet owners know about is animal fostering. Animal fostering is taking in a pet for a temporary time period, for a variety of reasons until it is placed in a forever home. Animal fostering may be an option for you if you are an especially loving and caring pet parent but are willing to see an animal go to a forever loving home. It takes a special type of person to foster an animal, because the needs of the pets may be especially unique. But, if you think you may be a candidate for animal fostering, a local shelter may be able to utilize your services.
There are a number of reasons why a shelter or rescue group may need foster parents for some of its rescues.
These reasons may include:
- The group does not have the space or physical shelter needs to accommodate the pet.
- Foster homes may be essential for the success of the rescue group as they seek forever homes for their animals.
- The animal may be too young to survive or thrive safely in a shelter setting.
- A young animal may need additional care or bottle feeding, and may need an attentive human to watch over it.
- Those kinds of conditions may not be practical in a shelter or rescue center.
- The animal could be recovering from and injury or illness.
Like in the above scenario, the animal may need additional care or attention while it recovers and a group setting of other animals may not be the most practical situation for the animal. Stress could be another cause for fostering over a shelter setting. If the animal is not properly socialized, or if it is especially frightened of other animals, a shelter may cause additional stress and health concerns for the animal. In order to be adopted in a timely manner, some one on one attention may be necessary with the proper socialization training to help the animal become ready to live in a home with other pets.
If you think you can provide for an animal that may exhibit some of the above special circumstances, reach our to your local shelters or animal rescue groups and they would be happy to give you the proper training to take on a foster animal.
You may be able to offer:
- one on one care
- a private place for your animal to feel safe and secure
- a place for recovery
- training and socializing for an animal and most importantly,
- a loving environment and a possibility that an otherwise unadoptable could find a forever home.
You could be the difference in an animal’s life and well-being if you choose to foster! Be prepared though as there is emotional attachment to your animals, no matter how short the duration of fostering may be. Some animals have specialized needs, and may have some behavior issues as well that they will need to overcome. Foster parents are also at risk of emotion and physical side effects of fostering and the time needed to care for a special animal. Lastly, in the event of “foster failure”- know that that’s not a bad thing. Sometimes, we become attached to the animals that are supposed to be a temporary stay. You can’t keep them all, but you may find that you will want to keep one or two. If you happen to be the forever home for one of your little guys, celebrate in that as well, and know that you have made a difference!
If you are a foster person for an animal, let us know your experience. What have you learned? What do you wish people would have told you before you started the fostering journey?