Foster Care – The Backbone of Animal Rescue



1 . Fostering is an ideal activity for people that love animals but cannot commit to having a lifelong pet. In fact, every additional foster parent that animal rescue groups can get represents in most cases the difference between life and death for animals abandoned in the streets, or removed from a life of abuse and neglect. Aside from regular day-to-day care (feeding, grooming, exercise), the responsibilities of a foster home may include basic training (housetraining, walking on leash, etc); behavior modification (to correct problems such as jumping, mouthing, barking, destructive chewing, dashing through doors, etc); socialization and temperament evaluation (to determine whether the dog or cat is good with different types of people and other animals); medical care (dispensing medication, taking the animal to vet appointments), and of course plenty of playtime and snuggling.

2 . Many animal rescue groups do not have a shelter, so they depend on the help of rescuers and foster parents to take care of kittens, cats, puppies and dogs until they are adopted. The more foster parents they have, the bigger the number of abandoned and/or neglected animals they can help. In fact, a shelter is not a good option in many ways because dogs and cats can lose touch with being in a home environment. Hereafter, a network of foster homes can take a dog or cat in and give them the care and training they need: the one that can only be accomplished at home. Fostering also bridges the gap between total abandonment and a permanent home. Just think of a shelter dog’s day: they can be in their cage (without human
contact) for more than 18 hours. If you multiply that by how many days they can be at the shelter, then the risk with a long-term dog or cat is that they lose touch and exposure to a loving home, interacting with people and even with other pets.

3 . It is a hugely rewarding experience to give an abandoned and/or mistreated animal a second chance to recover its health, as well as to provide him with love and affection while he/she is waiting to get a permanent loving home. The most amazing thing is that rescued animals respond to your care with lots of love … they cannot talk, but certainly they show how much they appreciate all your efforts. Fostering a dog or cat may seem like a formidable task, but it is a very tangible way to make a difference. Everyone benefits: the foster parent gets to spend time with a special dog or cat, while an animal rescue group gets valuable help with rescued animals. The foster dog or cat gets a break from a very hard life of abandonment and neglect, and a second chance at becoming a cherished pet. Then, the new owners get a dog or cat that is better adapted to home life, and therefore has a better chance of remaining in the new home forever.

4 . Pets reduce stress and anxiety! According to some studies, interacting with a dog or cat is a profound and effective stress reducer. It increases feelings of contentment and relaxation. Not for nothing dogs are described as man’s best friend! (even though for some people this applies to their cats!). Walking and/or playing with a pet is an effective mean of spending quality time at home, make exercise, reduce stress and anxiety, forget about the problems of the day … and to give your foster cat or dog lots of love, exercise and entertainment! Please consider to be a foster parent … abandoned animals will appreciate your help with all their hearts!

Animal rescue organizations always need more foster parents. For you it is a great way to have a “temporary” pet if you cannot adopt, or want to have a furry companion in general or if your own pet needs a friend to play and have company. By being a foster parent you get a companion and help save an animal at the same time! Some rescue organizations also need “special care” foster parents who are willing to take in sick animals or animals that require bottle feeding on a regular basis every day.

Animal rescue organizations are always grateful to foster parents because it takes dedication, time and love. When you see a five-day old kitten or puppy survive because of the efforts that foster parents make, it is a wonderful feeling of accomplishment! So, if you like the idea of being a foster parent, please check your local area for organizations in need of foster homes. There are many out there that would more than gratefully accept another foster home. Remember, more foster homes means the ability to rescue more animals in need.

Until Tomorrow Remember



N.B: If you are a shelter or rescue group seeking foster homes please comment below. Tell us where you are, what you are looking for in a foster care provider, and what type of animals you rescue (cats, large dogs, small dogs, etc.) We will be sure to include you in the “Shelters and Rescues Looking for Assistance” post later in the week, and hopefully hook you up with some volunteers in your area! 


2 thoughts on “Foster Care – The Backbone of Animal Rescue

  1. Janette, how would you recommend testing my cats with a dog? I have considered fostering, but my fence here isn’t the greatest, and I am gone 10 hours a day. Also my cats merely tolerate each other and have not had much exposure to dogs at all.

    • It really isn’t the cats you have to test, it is a matter of ensuring you have a foster dog that is good with cats. I have only ever met one cat who went in search of an argument with a dog, and he thought he was a dog. (at least we are convinced he did) In your situation I would recommend fostering a senior dog. They are usually very calm and indifferent when it comes to cats. They also tend to try to escape your yard less. When you are off at work it helps to be able to set a dog up with a doggie door so I would suggest sticking to small breeds if you do choose to foster. Larger doggie doors can invite trouble. There is nothing wrong with fostering and working. As long as you ensure that there is ample food and water available and the dog has access to outside. If you are really serious about fostering I can try to make a trip out and help you set up your house so that fostering works for you. (For the rest of you please note, Colleen is a personal friend of mine hence the offer to help her set up her home so it is foster friendly. Anyone else needing assistance in this manner can write to and we will help you out as best we can)

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