What to know about how to foster an animal

by Beth Graham
Learn how to foster an animal

I’m seeing so many posts from animal shelters about the need for urgent rescues so I wanted to tell you all how easy it is to foster an animal to save a life. The animal shelters are generally all full most of the time – irresponsible pet owners, abandoned, abused and unwanted animals are filling them up. Local rescue organizations are doing their best to pull animals out of the shelters to help find them homes. Both shelters and rescues desperately need people to step up and foster an animal until a furever home is found. If you’re thinking, “How can I foster an animal near me?”, keep reading!

Shelters do their best to find homes for the pets in their care but they pretty much stay at capacity – always. In kill shelters, that means they have to make room for newcomers through euthanasia. In non-kill shelters, it means they can’t take in animals and people get turned away which unfortunately leads to many animals being abandoned or abused and ending up in the shelters (or worse) anyway.

In my years as an animal lover and advocate, I’ve never seen a greater need for people to step up and foster an animal. The biggest misconception about fostering? It does not have to be long term!! Keeping an animal out of a shelter and in your home for just a few days can be a tremendous benefit to the system. There are so many entities working to find good, permanent homes for these animals but we often just need to buy a few more days by keeping the pet in a safe environment.

You can foster for whatever length of time fits your lifestyle. A few days to a few weeks.

Dogs and cats would rather be in a home than a stressful, loud shelter, even for a few nights!

Contact your local shelter or rescue organization and fill out an application. They’ll work with you on the pet that best fits your lifestyle and needs. Do me a favor – just Google your local animal shelter or investigate local rescue groups – there are many breed-specific rescue groups in each state, ie. Labrador Rescue of “your state” and many “Friends of (local animal shelter)” groups on Facebook. Look at their fostering program and consider it. Just try it once – you’ll get hooked! And again, it can fit your schedule.


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