There are so many benefits to fostering a pet and not just for the pet but also for the rescue organization and for yourself. For over 20 years I fostered pets in my home and supported rescues with other help; each time the experience brought unique moments of joy for me. Yes, it’s not always easy but it is most certainly rewarding. There is nothing more delightful than helping to prepare a pet for their future home, knowing that while you are doing this you are providing the rescue facility with additional resources and space to help save another life.
You can choose to work with your local rescue group, a municipal facility, or a local breed rescue group. I have always chosen to work with my local Aussie Rescue organization, New Spirit 4 Aussies . They have a chapter here in Florida and I have always enjoyed helping and supporting the local team. Over the years I have been involved in helping transfer pets across the state, helping to pull vulnerable dogs from rescue facilities so they can be placed in breed rescue foster homes, actually fostering injured and sick pets while they recuperate and also as a Dog Trainer/Behavior Consultant, helping to support new foster homes with training skills and knowledge. Each of these tasks is different and offers up lots of individual opportunities for the community to get involved. So even if you are not able to bring a foster pet into your home there will be lots of other ways you can support your local organization.
Fostering does not have to be a long-term commitment; some rescue and shelter organizations also plan and arrange weekend slumber parties with foster homes. These outings provide a much-needed change and respite for the pet and can be hugely beneficial to everyone involved.
Here are a few reasons why rescue organizations love to work with foster homes:
- Some pets do not do well and in fact can deteriorate in a shelter environment; fosters help provide the much-needed space to support these pets.
- Shelters often need support and help with fostering special need pets – young puppies, pregnant mothers and elderly pets needing specific more specialized care.
- Pets recovering from injury or surgery may need specific help and more active supervision while recovering before they are available for adoption.
- The shelter may be running out of space and need support to care for more pets.
Fostering can be a hugely rewarding experience for the foster home. You can work with your local rescue to understand their needs and match these needs with your specific situation, your home size, location, time available etc.
Please reach out to your local rescue, ask them about supporting their foster program and what is involved. You may, like me, find it becomes addictive to work alongside these fabulous warriors, helping save and rehabilitate our four-legged family members!
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