Why Fostering a Pet Is So Important (How You Can Help)
We all know how heartbreaking it can be to see animals in need of care and love, or being euthanized in a shelter due to a lack of space. Unfortunately, due to overcrowding and lack of resources, many rescues and shelters are having to turn away animals in need because they don’t have the space to house them, or worse yet, euthanize them. This is where pet fostering comes in. Fostering a pet is an incredibly important and selfless act that helps make a difference in the lives of many animals in need. In this blog post, we’ll explore why fostering a pet is so important, the different types of fostering, and how you can help.
What is pet fostering?
Pet fostering is a low/no-cost way of helping animals in need without making a long-term commitment. It is when an individual or family provides temporary shelter for a pet for a rescue or shelter until the pet can find a permanent home. It’s also used in situations where a pet owner temporarily needs help as they cannot keep their pet due to crisis (homelessness, addiction, domestic violence, etc).
During the fostering period, the foster provides a loving stable home for the animal while simultaneously observing and helping to assess the animal’s temperament and its interactions with the world including humans, other pets, and children. The shelter or rescue covers all costs of the animal including food and vetting – you just provide the love.
Why is pet fostering important?
Pet fostering is a critical part of the animal rescue process. Fostering helps to save lives and provide animals in need with a chance at a better life. Without foster homes, many shelters and rescues would not be able to help animals in need.
Fostering gives animals time to get used to being in a home environment, feel safe, and show off their personalities. It also helps the rescue or shelter to properly assess each pet and match them with the right forever home. This helps to ensure a successful adoption and a happy pet.
Ultimately, pet fostering plays an essential role in helping animals in need find loving forever homes. By providing animals with the love, care, and attention they deserve, foster homes make a huge difference in the lives of pets who may not have had the opportunity otherwise.
Fostering also provides additional benefits for both the pet and the foster.
The benefits of pet fostering
Fostering provides not only benefits for the pet, but for the humans who have volunteered their time and home to care for them.
It’s Cost-Effective: Fostering a pet can be much more affordable than adoption, as rescue organizations and shelters should provide necessary supplies like food and toys at no additional cost. This can help alleviate the financial burden and commitment of adopting an animal, and provide more opportunities for people to care for animals in need.
It Offers a Home Environment: When pets are placed into foster homes, they get to experience life outside of the shelter environment and learn how to behave in a home setting. This is beneficial because when they’re eventually adopted, they’ll already have had some practice living in a home environment and will require less adjustment.
It Reduces Stress on Shelters and Rescues: Fostering helps take the pressure off of rescue organizations and shelters, which often struggle with overcrowding. By providing foster homes for animals, these organizations can make more room for other animals in need and ensure that all of their guests are receiving quality care.
It Helps Socialize Animals: Animals who have been rescued from abusive or neglectful situations may need extra help becoming comfortable around people and other animals. When these animals enter foster homes, they receive one-on-one attention, which can help them learn to trust and bond with humans. This can help them become more adoptable.
It Can Provide Long-term Care: If an animal requires ongoing medical care, a forever-foster home may be able to provide it. This can be especially beneficial for senior animals who need extra love and attention.
Foster fails occur when a foster pet parent decides to keep their foster pet, either because they’ve grown attached or they just couldn’t bear to let them go. While it may seem like a negative thing, it’s actually a great outcome and one of the most positive signs of the fostering process. It shows that fosters are having an impact and are creating strong bonds with the animals in their care.
When fostering fails, it usually means that the pet found a home with a loving foster family, and it’s a wonderful thing for the animal. Most of the time, the foster family has already done all the work of training and socializing the animal before it even went up for adoption. This makes it much easier for the adoptive family, who won’t have to put in as much effort to help their new pet settle in.
Foster fails can also be beneficial to the rescue or shelter since they get the added benefit of not having to find a forever home for the animal. This also means that there is more space for other animals that need homes, which is always a positive.
In short, foster fails are a great thing and should be celebrated. They show that fostering works and that it can result in happy endings for both humans and animals.
How you can help
Our Animal Food Bank is tired of seeing pets turned away due to lack of foster homes. We are working to launch a national pet foster database to promote collaboration and sharing of resources between rescues and shelters, while providing more homes for pets needing a temporary place to land, and promoting fostering through our network.
Please pledge to our kickstarter and sign up to receive more information on becoming a foster today!
We believe that every pet deserves a safe and loving home – please join us in creating lasting change for these animals in need.