Adopting a pet is a life-changing decision. However, some people aren’t able to make a full commitment to adopting a furry friend. As mentioned many times throughout this blog, there are countless ways to help out adoptable animals without committing to actually adopting. One of the most important ways you can help is by becoming a foster.
Fostering an animal, whether a dog, cat, bird or guinea pig, means you are temporarily keeping the animal in your home until they find their “furever” family or can be taken into the animal shelter. Sometimes, animals need to go to a foster home versus being placed directly into a shelter. Unfortunately, many animals that enter the shelter or rescue system had a difficult past. Injured or abused animals need some extra care and nurturing before finding their home. In cases such as this, it’s critical to have foster homes, as foster parents can take the needed time to treat, care for and socialize the animal.
Fostering animals is an important and rewarding part of the rescue world. Thinking of fostering? Here are just a few reasons why you should take the leap and open your home to some new furry friends:
- You’re saving lives
When agreeing to foster, you’re not only saving the life of the animal you’re bringing into your home, but you’re making room for another animal at the shelter or rescue. And without you as a foster, the animal you’re taking in may not have had a chance. Whether they were left in a high-kill shelter or needed extra training and care, by stepping up to foster, you’re giving them a second chance at a happy ending.
- It’s (generally) on your own terms
While the foster pet may be with you a little longer (or even shorter) than you had expected, by partnering with your local shelter or rescue you can foster as little or as often as you would like. Some foster homes always take in foster animals, while others do so just a few times out of the year. You have room to be flexible when only taking pets in temporarily.
- The animals know what it’s like to be loved
As mentioned, unfortunately some animals had a difficult start in life. By giving them care in a loving home, the animals can begin to trust humans and know what it’s like to have a family around them. Though just temporary, the love a foster family gives a pet is a stepping-stone for the animal to find love with their forever family.
- You’ll help other (human) families
When a hopeful family is interested in adopting your foster animal, they will know that their future pet has received proper training and care. You’ll know what makes the animal tick and what they may need a little more work on. All of these little details will ensure the hopeful adopters are the perfect family for the animal.
- You’ll see how your own family does with another pet
Maybe you’re interested in having a pet (or possibly more) in the future. Not ready to fully commit to adopting? Try out fostering. If you already have pets, you’ll see how they do with another animal in the house. Any family members in the household will also have the chance to interact with other animals, so you’ll have a better idea if you’re family is ready to bring another animal into the home permanently.
- …You have the option to be a foster failure!
Foster failures are my favorite. A foster failure is when a loving foster family realized they just can’t stand to see their temporary family member go – so they decide to adopt them! It’s a happy ending for both the family and the animal.
Want to find out more about fostering? Check with your local shelter or rescue to learn about their foster program. Use PetFinder’s search engine to find a shelter or rescue near you!