May is National Foster Care Month! Many of our furry patients are former foster pets, who are now living their best lives. Foster owners fill a crucial role for pets that need growth, healing, training, and/or socialization before they can be listed for adoption. If you’re an animal lover, you may want to consider fostering yourself. Of course, this isn’t going to be right for everyone. Here, a vet lists some things to think about before moving forward.
You don’t need a big house to foster animals: you just need ample space for your furry wards. If you have kids and/or other pets, you’ll need to be able to keep your furry foster charges in separate rooms or areas.
Finances are another thing to consider. Some shelters will provide food and supplies, but not all of them have enough resources to do that. You might have some out-of-pocket costs. Things like food, supplies, bedding, toys, treats, and medical care can add up quickly! Talk to the shelter about what is expected.
A formal education isn’t necessary for fostering pets. That said, it’s best that fosters have had experience with animals, and a good general understanding about their behavior and care needs. Most likely, you’ll also go through some training and onboarding, and possibly a home visit. Talk to your local shelters to find out more.
It can be rewarding to see a sweet pet you’ve cared for going off to their forever home, but that moment can also be very bittersweet. Understandably, many people find it difficult to say goodbye to pets they have grown attached to. This often leads to foster fails. Foster fails are what happens when people get so attached to their foster pets that they end up just adopting them themselves. This isn’t a bad thing, as of course the entire point is to find that pet a forever home. However, if you think this would be too hard for you, maybe try volunteering instead.
There’s usually no way to know exactly when a pet will be adopted or ready to be listed for adoption. With young animals, this may happen when they’re weaned and are able to stay in the shelter overnight. It could also be dependent on healing, growth, socialization, or even available space. Consider your schedule, flexibility, and upcoming plans.
As your animal clinic, we’re dedicated to offering great care. Call us today!