Updated: Jan 30, 2021
"Radon on his way to be handed over to his furever parents."
Many people say to me “How can you foster and then give them up? I couldn’t do that.” I tell them that it’s easy to do when you know otherwise the pet would die. There is only so much space at each shelter. Fostering allows the rescue/shelter to make room for additional pets who have found themselves homeless…many no fault of their own.
Fostering allows for the foster to give the animal time to decompress and really show its true personality. What it likes and dislikes, whether it needs training or if it housebroken and has manners.
Each adopter has different aspects of behavior they are willing to compromise on or not accept. Oftentimes fosters really help adopters to realize whether the animal is a good fit for their family. This in turn leads to long term success versus the animal not being a good match and quickly returned after being adopted.
Some of these homeless animals have been treated poorly by previous owners and/or have been on the street for some time just trying to survive. Fostering these pets gives them a chance to gain trust of humans before trying to put them into a home with a family who may not be skilled to handle an animal with trust issues.
Fostering animals help you with your overall health. It has been documented that petting cats and dogs lowers blood pressure, it helps your body release relaxation hormones, and reduce the production of stress hormones. People who foster dogs find themselves outdoors at parks throwing frisbee’s or tennis balls around other like-minded people. This helps you feel a part of a community.
If you do not have the time to take on a pet full time then fostering is a way to have an animal to take care of during maybe slower times of your life, but even if you are busy it is good for the animals to learn that you will come back home to them. Busy lives help to build a sense of trust, allows dogs to learn crate training, etc. So even if you are busy, do not feel guilty leaving a pet home while you do your 8 to 5 job. The person who adopts them will likely have that type of schedule too and you are helping train them ahead of time for that kind of schedule.
There are many organizations that need help fostering. If you worry about getting attached then chose an animal to foster that is guaranteed to be short term. Oftentimes there are puppies and kittens who only need a couple more weeks before they get their next round of shots and spaying or neutering. I find that one that is 7 -14 days to be perfect. Also, there are older ones that immediately get adoption applications, but need to be fostered in order to have time to get them medically prepared for adopting. Again these are short term and you are allowing that shelter or rescue to make space for another animal in need.