One of our Wordless Wednesday submissions was from Foster Mommy and it got us to thinking about the wonderful people that open their homes to pets that need our help.
Foster homes are extremely useful to assist animal shelters, local humane societies and breed rescues. There are so many pets in need that some of them could use a little extra help to find a permanent, loving home. Fostering a pet may seem like a huge task but it is a very good way to make a difference. A break from kennel life will give the pet a second chance at becoming someone’s forever cherished pet. Fostered pets become better adapted to home life and increases their chance of remaining in the new home permanently. The individual love and care of a foster parent gives the animal an opportunity to flourish. After some of these lovable pets have spent several weeks or months at the shelter without being adopted they are euthanized for lack of space. Getting involved and doing whatever we can to prevent this fate is worth the little time and effort it takes.
Medium-to-large, adolescent, untrained dogs are prime candidates for foster homes. So often they are overlooked for adoption because they are too big, unruly, or just too ordinary. Their behavior becomes worse from the stress of being kenneled. Can you imagine being in a cage with countless others and watching as people go through to choose a pet? What do you think these sweet animals are thinking after time and again not being the picked one? The adorable puppy stage has long passed. They do however have a lot to offer each in their own way. Foster homes can provide a stable home setting where they can become the perfect adoptee.
Other common reasons pets are fostered are kittens and puppies who are too young to be spayed or neutered, cats and dogs who are nursing a litter, orphaned kittens and puppies or pets that are being treated for injury or illness. This group will take a lot more time and dedication to foster. The orphans will need to be bottle fed as often as you would feed a baby. Injuries and illness will be challenging to say the least. Once they are old enough or well enough to be adopted you will experience the feeling of a job well done.
Aside from regular day-to-day care of feeding, grooming and exercise, the responsibilities of a foster home may include basic training in house training, walking on leash, sit, down and stay. Some of our furry friends need behavior modification to correct problems such as jumping, barking, destructive chewing, and just not listening. Socialization skills help to determine whether the dog is good with different types of people and other animals. If needed you may be asked to dispense medication or take the animal to vet appointments. And the most important of all is to lavish them with plenty of playtime, cuddling and love.
Foster volunteers are the key to saving the lives of homeless pets. Do a little homework to find out what the foster programs are all about. Learn how to get ready to become a foster parent. The rewards is knowing you provided the individualized care and affection to restore the optimal state of your visitor. The feeling that you were instrumental in getting them on the path to a great new life will last a lifetime.
Foster programs can provide you with all the information you need. If this is something you would be interested in getting involved with, then please contact your local humane society, animal shelter, or a breed rescue organization.