Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Is Pet Fostering Right for You?

  Have you ever given any thought to fostering a dog or cat?  It is a great way to help relieve the overburdened shelters in your area.  There are some serious considerations before you jump into a foster situation.  If you can answer “yes” to these questions, then you might have what it takes to open your world to a foster pet.
    1.     Do I have the room for a pet?
If you live in a tiny apartment, you might think about a cat or small dog.  However, if you have ample room for a four-legged guest, then you have a huge selection of pets that would love to be out of the shelter environment.
2.    Do I have the time needed to help a pet adjust to a new home?
Many pets that are in the shelter system need extra time to adjust to a new environment.  Some are shy and skittish around new people and places.  Before you take on a foster dog or cat, make sure that you have the time needed to reassure them that their new home is safe and loving.
3.    Will my other pets welcome a new pet?
It is important to consider the pets that you have.  Many do not share your
feelings of wanting to add to their family unit.  I believe most dogs enjoy having a friend of their own species.  However, some will take the added pet as an intruder.  The last thing that you want to do is bring a foster into a potentially aggressive situation.
4.    Will I be able to give the pet up when a permanent home is available?
This is a tough question.  You are taking the animal on a temporary basis, so the hope is that it will find a forever home.  Saying good-bye to a friend is never easy, even if you know they are going to a loving home.  Don’t set yourself up for a broken heart by becoming too attached.  If you do, you’ll be adopting instead of fostering.
5.    Does the pet have any health issues that will need to be addressed?
Some shelter pets have special needs that you will want to be aware of before you agree to take them home.  Be sure you know the medical history of the pet before you say “yes.”  Sadly, one of the reasons some of them end up in the shelter is because the owners can’t take care of these health issues.
6.    Is the animal crate trained and housebroken?
Many pets are trained in both.  You’ll want to know if you will be taking on a dog/cat that has been in a home before.  House breaking a dog is not that difficult in most cases, but it does require time and patience.  A cat that was taken in after being on the streets will need to be shown how to use the litter box.  Again, time and patience is a requirement.
7.    Is the animal an escape artist?
You certainly don’t want to bring home a pet only to have them run away.  If the animal is known to have a history of bolting, you want to be certain that your living arrangement is so that this isn’t a constant worry.
   8.    How much of the pet’s history is available?
If the animal you are considering has a history of abuse, this is something that you’ll want to know.  It will take a lot of love and reassurance on your part to earn its trust.  You’ll need to know if it likes men, women, children, or other animals.  Some animals prefer to be around one gender, but are reactive around the other.  Some pets don’t like children.  These things are vital to know so your fostering experience will be positive.
    9.    Was the animal surrendered or found as a stray?
If the pet was surrendered, you’ll want to know why.  In many cases, the owner could no longer take care of their furry friend.  Several at our local shelter have owners that were moved to an elderly care facility that doesn’t allow pets.  Some of them have lost their owners to death and some have been given up because they simply were no longer wanted.  You must know what you are dealing with before you accept the responsibility.
10.  What does the shelter require from you when taking an animal as a foster?
Shelters don’t just hand over a pet because you ask for it.  You’ll want to know if home visits are expected.  Are you expected to screen the potential owners or bring the pet back to the shelter for introductions?  Be certain to know the answer before you agree.
  Fostering is a wonderful and selfless endeavor, but it is not for everyone.  I know several people that open their homes to fostering.  Personally, I am not able to take a pet on for a temporary arrangement.  I know myself well enough to know that if a pet came home with me, it would be forever.  We currently have our “granddog” Pierre living with us.  I know that he will be going to live with his mom and dad soon.  I will miss him, but I also know how happy he will be to be reunited with them.  The difference is, he is a family member, and I am merely puppy sitting as grandparents do at times.
If you can answer the ten questions and feel that you would be a great foster parent, please contact your local shelter.  They will help you select a dog or cat that will fit in your life.  It can be a rewarding experience for both you and the pet.
  PetSavers in Shreveport accepts foster homes for their pets.  All you need to do is give them a call and let them know that you would like to be involved in housing a pet until a new permanent home is found.  The dogs featured today are ready for a loving home.  If they are not the one for you, please share them on social media.

We are proud to be joining Dogs ‘N Pawz and Talking Dogs for Tuesday’s Tails.  This blog hop focuses on adoptable shelter pets in the hope of finding a home for them.


  1. I think #4 would be impossible for me. I think it would break my heart :o) Thanks for a great post about such an important topic.

  2. We agree with Easy. We'd find it too heart breaking as well. Have a terrific Tuesday.
    Best wishes Molly

  3. We tried it = but failed at #4 - it i just to hard to give them up - you just can't help but fall in love with them :)

  4. Great post about fostering! I'll be sharing those two sweet dogs, too.

  5. We have fostered in the past but cannot right now due to #1 but #4 is a hard one too. You really have to get the right mind set and want to help the dog but maintain enough emotional distance so your heart doesn't get broken when they do find a home. Buddy and Jill look like wonderful pups and I hope they find great furever homes very soon!

  6. Great questions to answer. Fostering is great and need more people doing it. I am a foster volunteer for the American Chesapeake Club and have fostered before.

  7. I have thought about fostering but have too many dogs at my house already:( Maybe one day. Bugs and Jill are such cuties! Sharing.

  8. Great tips and questions about fostering. I don't think people realize just how much fosters help pets! And really, providing those questions can be answered to a good degree, it is very doable!
    beautiful pups, and I am sharing your post!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  9. Hi Y'all!

    Foster folks are wonderful people...I'd be a great foster paw-papa but my Human's would never give up the one they fostered. sigh...besides our life style isn't suited to havin' a foster dog where it needed to be when it needed to be there.

    In the meantime, I'll share other people's fosters and those poor pups stuck in doggy jail.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  10. Both our Shelties came from a rescue that fosters all there dogs. I am very grateful to both foster Moms. Bailey came to us as a puppy completely housebroken!!!! It was an amazing gift.

    As for us, I continue to financially support the rescue, but I know I don't have the heart for rescue. As soon as the dog came in the door, I would be heart broken letting it go. I also know Bailey has huge attachment issues. It is next to impossible for us to take Katy to the Vet if Bailey doesn't go. I can only imagine the horrors if we brought a foster in and it left. He'd become even more distressed. So, we will continue to do everything for those who do have the ability to foster.

  11. Fosters are such an important part of animal rescue. My favorite quote about fostering goes something like this "I would rather cry and watch them leave my home to live full lives, then cry because no one stepped up and they died alone and afraid in a shelter." (This was shared by Jax's mom http://adventuresindogfostering.wordpress.com/). I have not fostered, but I would love to one day. I believe fosters save more lives than I can even imagine.

  12. Great info!! Fostering is on my list of things I want to do when I have more free time. Thank you for listing out these questions. They are soo important for people to consider.

  13. We give foster parents lots of credit. We couldn't foster because once a pet comes in our home, they are here forever. Fosters do great work, but it wouldn't be for us.

  14. Thanks so much for helping to spread the word about fostering. At our house we always have at least one foster animal. Right now Willamina the cat is living with us because the shelter has too many cats and she isn't very good with strangers. But we are working on that--slowly. Fostering is very important part of of helping some dogs and cats with challenges take the next step to find their forever home. However, I will agree that it is hard to let them go sometimes.

  15. Great post! I couldn't foster. I'd turn into an animal hoarder. Plus, Nola's picky about the dogs she likes.

  16. We fostered for quite a while, but then the inn became full and the nearby group that we fostered for became defunct. The nearest Greyhound group to us, that we adopt from, is a two hour drive, and I don't feel that's fair to do to potential adoptees. One day, we might foster again. We'll see!


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