February can be a great month to become a foster parent to a homeless animal in need of care and a temporary loving home. It is still cold in many parts of the world and many animal shelters and rescues are capacity and full of homeless.
By fostering animals in need you are making a difference for that individual animal by providing comfort and care for a while as they await their forever family. Fostering animals is suitable for those pet lovers that want to help animals but cannot adopt at this time.
I am often asked how I can help an animal in need if I cannot adopt? I often encourage fostering an animal. It is another great way to get involved in animal sheltering. It provides temporary homes and care to animals who need to live in a home with a family before coming up for adoption. A foster family can share their home with that animal for as long as they can.
I have heard of family fosters opening their hearts and homes for just a few weeks to longer times from months depending on the individual circumstances of the family and needs of that animal. You never know. You might even fall in love with that animal and become a ‘foster fail’ which is a forever family as the longer you spend with that animal, there is an opportunity to form a special forever bond and want to adopt. If a foster family and that pet find that they are getting connected and get along well they can become part of the family.
The great news is there is no long term commitment in most cases as animal shelters and foster families usually work out an agreement that suits both parties. At the same time, it is rewarding and an act of love that can literally save a shelter animal’s life! Fostering gives this animal a second chance for happiness and love during what can be a stressful shelter experience.
There are some shelter animals that might require special care, that are sick, very young, or need socialization. Spending time with these animals on an individual basis can make a huge difference for a successful outcome and to have a happy life. Once these animals have been taken out of the shelter and brought into a comfortable home they can often thrive and this experience makes them more adoptable for a forever family for those pet parents that are looking to adopt an animal.
If you are interested in fostering, there are many shelters looking for foster pet parents. You can contact your local municipal animal shelter, humane society, or a rescue organization. You might have to submit an application online and you may be enrolled in some training (behavior or medical care) and you may be provided with an orientation program.
Often the shelter handles the vet bills and other expenses so fostering can become affordable and manageable for caring for that pet.
It can be a very rewarding and life changing experience for you and that foster animal knowing you are helping them. Check out your local shelters and rescues and share your foster stories online to help convince other pet lovers to foster!