Becoming a foster parent for a cat or dog is easy, here’s how! There are many different groups across the United States that provide volunteer families a foster pet to take care of. These families restore the pet back to health before being adopted by a loving family. Some organizations save as many as 1,000 pets a year by using volunteer foster families. But why is there such a need for foster families, and how can you volunteer?
The most common reasons that pets require a foster family are:
- The animals are too young. Animals typically aren’t available to be adopted until they are at least eight weeks old, and weigh two pounds.
- Mother cats or dogs: If an animal is nursing, a shelter is not the best place for the mother or her kittens/puppies.
- Cats or dogs being treated for illness or disease.
If you wish to foster a dog or cat, the first step is finding an organization in your area. Each organization has its own regulations, but typically the potential foster parent has to be at least 18 years old. Volunteers also usually attend foster parent training and orientation, which prepares them for medical needs and other challenges that can crop up. After completing the steps to become a volunteer, the organization matches you with an animal that suits your lifestyle. While you have custody of the animal, the organization works with you to set up veterinary appointments and help with any medical needs that the pet may have. Then you will have officially become the foster parent of a furry friend!
Did you ever foster a pet? Tell us about your experience in the comments!