Fostering an animal is something only a few people can handle. If you think you are one of these people continue reading for all the information you need to know!
Even though fostering is not permanent, the forever effect of it is. Anyone knows that staying in a nice home is much nicer than staying in a shelter. This is the same for pets; none of them want to live in a shelter. So fostering is the next best option. Brittany Feldman, president and co-founder of Shelter Chic, a nonprofit rescue in New York, gives her expert opinion on fostering:
“It’s great for people to experience the benefits of having an animal in the home, without a long-term commitment. And, for the animal, not only is it saving their life, but it makes them more adoptable. Having the dog in a home gives you experience with them, so you know things about their personality that you wouldn’t know in a shelter.”
What do I have to do as a foster parent?
Different shelters require different responsibilities. But overall the responsibilities of foster parents are pretty consistent. For dogs, you should be ready to feed them, give them water, walk them, and most of all, give them love! For cats you should also do the same, but another key tip is get your cats something to scratch on.
How long will I foster for?
The time period for which you will foster varies. Feldman explains,
“Fostering can last anywhere from one day to several months. It really depends on the organization and the dog. We ask for as long as possible, but in general, a minimum for us would be two weeks.”
Can I still foster even if I already own a pet?
The answer is yes! As long as you make sure to introduce your pet to the pet you are about to foster, and all goes well. Feldman adds,
“If you are bringing in a dog, and you have a resident dog, I would say that they need to meet on mutual territory. The best thing to do is to have a friend bring your dog down, and have them meet and go for a walk immediately. It’s non-threatening, the dog’s not going to get possessive and that’s the best way to establish a relationship.”
Could I adopt my foster pet after a while?
For sure! Feldman shares her expert opinion on whether or not you should keep your foster. She comments,
“After a week they should know. If they don’t know after a week, we’ll kindly explain that there may be a family that desperately wants this animal, and if they’re on the fence, it’s probably not meant to be.”
Is fostering a good idea for me?
“It’s a good tool for someone who is considering getting a pet, but not sure if they are ready. It’s the best of both worlds. They can say, ‘I love this dog, I want something just like it,’ or ‘This breed is too high-energy for me. I actually want a smaller breed.’ So it really benefits everyone.”