Do you have what it takes to foster a pet? You donate money to animal rescue groups. You volunteer your time at the local shelter. But you want to do more. How about taking your furry philanthropy to the next level? Fostering saves lives. When you bring a needy critter into your home, you prevent needless euthanization. You also open up a space at the shelter or rescue for another animal in need. It is, however, a big commitment –and not one to be taken lightly. Answer the following questions to determine if you have what it takes to become a foster mom or dad.
How much time do you have? Some animals need fostering for just a few weeks, while others may require a place in your home for much longer. Consider your own schedule as well as that of your family. You should also consider the needs of your resident pets. Your sedate elderly cat, for example, may not enjoy having a bunch of frisky kittens around for an extended time.
Can you handle special medical needs? Shelters are stressful environments. Animals may be moved from a shelter and into a foster home while recovering from illness or surgery. You may need to change bandages, administer medicines or deliver the animal to veterinarian checkups.
How much space do you have? If you have a small home, you probably shouldn’t foster a dog that is large. If you have territorial cats, you shouldn’t shelter another feline unless you can provide a safely isolated area. Consider the size, age and energy levels of available foster pets in relation to the space you can provide.
Are you going to become too attached? This is the one thing that keeps me from fostering, especially now that I’m working from home on a full-time basis. I fall in love with every furry creature I meet. I know that bringing one into my home would mean never letting it go. If you have what it takes to foster a pet, you need to be comfortable with eventually surrendering him to a good forever home.
So, do you think you have what it takes? Are you ready to provide a safe and loving temporary home for an animal in need? If so, contact your local shelter or animal rescue group, or visit The Pet Foster Network at www.petfoster.org to learn more about getting started.
Did you ever foster a pet? Tell us about your experience in the comment section!