Interested in becoming a foster parent? Our tips here!
April 12, 2018
Ever thought about fostering a dog or cat?
The primary reason for foster care is to provide temporary homes for dogs and cats due to overcrowding in the shelter, or to assist animals whose current conditions are not manageable in a shelter setting. Foster care is needed for animals who are healthy, sick, injured, or too young for adoption. The shelters receive more animals than can be accommodated in the shelter, so moving them into foster homes not only saves their lives, but also the lives of those who take their places. Fostering a shelter animal is a wonderful, rewarding experience, but can also be time consuming and hard work. You can foster directly for a shelter or for a rescue organization.
What It Takes…
Although previous fostering experience is not required, the ideal foster care provider will have basic knowledge of animal care and training, as well as a desire to find their foster animal a safe, loving forever home. As a foster parent, you will provide your animals with care including food, water, shelter, litter, training, grooming and trips to the vet to get medical treatment when necessary. Depending on what you are fostering, foster parents may also be responsible for finding adopters for your foster animal(s) – but there is help! Most rescue organizations will do all the promotion (web, social media, etc) but you can also take the pet to adoption events or network for them too! Some rescues and shelters will be able to provide you with food and other items if you need them. All rescues and shelters pay for vet care. The basic need is a loving, safe home while the pet waits to find its forever home.
What You Get…
A ton of love and the BEST feeling ever knowing you have saved a life!
The length of foster care commitment varies widely based on each animal. Some foster animals may only need a couple weeks of foster care while other foster animals may need many months of foster care. The length of time can depend on the animal’s age, medical status, or adoptability. For long term foster, foster animals stay in their foster homes until they are adopted out, so marketing your foster animal is an important factor in the length of commitment.
Where to Start…
Find a local shelter or rescue and fill out a foster application. Generally, what they are looking for is someone who has a suitable home for a pet, has some pet experience, sometimes a fenced in yard is needed(even a cement city yard is fine in most cases), and if you have any current pets they are required to be fixed and up to date on vaccinations. Once approved you can discuss what kind of pet you would be comfortable with fostering, for me is was a dog that was good with other dogs (I have 3 resident dogs), a smaller to medium sized dog (due to a small home and small yard) and one that was also good with new people (we have a day time pet sitter). You can specify breed, age, size, temperament, etc. The rescue or shelter will pair you with a pet to the best of their ability. It’s important to remember that pets are animals and at times can be unpredictable.
If you are interested in learning more or finding an organization to foster with please reach Megan McFarland at MumsAndMutts@gmail.org or visit us on social Media MumsAndMutts (facebook and Instagram).