Fostering an animal is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have (other than adopting, of course). By taking an animal in need temporarily into your home you're: freeing up a spot so the shelter or rescue can take in another dog.
Many people come up with excuses not to foster. They think they’re too busy, or they don’t want to get attached to an animal they’ll have to give up in a month or so. I believe that with a little preparation and that by working with the right organization, most people would make great foster parents. Here are eight reasons why you should consider becoming a foster parent.
1. Fostering increases an animals chance of getting adopted. Foster families are usually the first to find out about the pet’s personality. You may even be the first to teach your foster pet basic house manners, making them more appealing to potential adopters.
2. Your own pets will learn more social skills. The more animals your pets come in contact with, the better they are at dealing with stress and getting used to strangers. Your pet might even find a playmate in your foster pet.
3. You get to see if you’re ready to own another pet. Maybe you want to foster a certain dog breed to see if you’re ready to adopt one, or you want to see if adding a cat into your all-dog household will upset the balance. Or maybe you want a new pet now but aren’t sure where you’ll be in the next 5, 10, 15, or 20 years. Though fostering is not a trial adoption period for that pet, it can help you try out changes to your current “fur family.”
4. Fostering is temporary. Cats require minimal space and are very low maintenance- they don’t take a lot of time to look after. If you’ve already got a dog, it’s not a big change to add one more pup to your daily walks and potty break schedule. Knowing the foster animal will only be with you for a short time makes it easier to find the time to take care of them, and it also makes it easier to give them up when it’s time.
5. You probably already have the space for one more. A spare bedroom, office, or screen porch is the perfect place for a foster pet. Even a bathroom is enough room for a kitten or puppy, and it’s much larger than a cage in a shelter. Sometimes a spare room is the only thing standing between an animal and euthanasia in an animal control facility.
6. You can choose how to foster. Only want to foster bulldogs? Prefer to look after kittens? Can’t foster for more than a few months at a time? Most rescues can accommodate your requests, as long as you agree to it beforehand and give them plenty of notice about changes. There are such a wide variety of animals in shelters, chances are they will be able to find the dog or cat that will fit your home the best!
7. Fostering keeps animals out of shelters. As wonderful as animal shelters are, they can be stressful from the lack of quiet, training, and exercise. And there’s nothing like the love and warmth of a family! Animals in foster care tend to be less stressed, better socialized, and have a lower chance of getting sick than animals in shelters.
8. You are saving a life. You feel good, your shelter or rescue group helps more animals, and your foster pet is happy, healthy, and well-socialized. Talk about win-win-win!
Mumford started as a heart wrenching cruelty case at the shelter but with TLC and vet care he was able to become the jewel he was always meant to be. Fostering saves lives, literally!
Interested in fostering? There are so many local shelters and rescues in Baton Rouge that need your help! Check out Companion Animal Alliance, Yelp! BR, Magic Happens Rabbit Rescue, Friends of the Animals (FOTA), CAAWS, Cat Haven, and Project Purr.
There are even breed specific rescues such as Louisiana Boxer Rescue, Gulf Coast Doberman Rescue, Gulf South Golden Retriever Rescue, Red Stick German Shepherd Rescue, Hokie's Hounds Beagle Rescue and Creole Poodle Rescue are just a few rescues always in need of fosters and donations!
Don't live in Baton Rouge and reading this blog? Contact your local shelter or rescue today to see if you can help!
What if you absolutely cannot foster but want to help homeless animals? There is ALWAYS something you can do!
If you can't adopt - foster...
If you can't foster - sponsor...
If you can't sponsor - volunteer...
If you can't volunteer - donate...
If you can't donate - educate, network, and crosspost...
Everyone can do something, large or small, to help save a life!
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