Happy Foster February!!

Did you know that Fostering Animals Saves Lives!!

Do you love animals but cannot commit to adoption at this time? Are you thinking of adopting a pet but not ready? Have you heard of fostering? It literally can save lives! Let’s face it, the reality of animals in shelters is sad and they are stressful environments. It can be noisy and scary for animals and an uncomfortable place.

For example, senior dogs who once had loving homes and are surrendered into a shelter may not cope well in the shelter environment. On the other hand, puppies or kittens are “fur babies” that require lots of care, and shelters are not the ideal place for them to start out their lives.

Another situation is that you have another furry family member at home so you are not sure you can adopt. Or for whatever other reason (travel, work, financial burdens) you are not ready to adopt but you want to make a difference for animals, the good news is that you can help!!

Fostering is less of a commitment and many animal shelters will provide financial assistance to foster families from paying vet bills to providing food and training for the pet. It’s also great for those of you on the fence considering “adoption” but not ready to commit. From fostering young kittens and puppies to the seniors, there are many vulnerable animals, and foster homes are desperately needed! People give up their pets for various reasons. Unfortunately, animal shelters and rescues are overcrowded with people surrendering pets after the pandemic.

Here are the main reasons to foster:

  1. Fostering can help ease loneliness, and anxiety for that animal.  
  2. Fostering can open the door for another animal to be saved.
  3. Fostering is great for those who travel or need to give up their pet for whatever reason and it can be a short term commitment:
  4. You are giving an animal a second chance of getting adopted as that animal can have interaction and love from a human family;
  5. You are thinking of adoption but not ready yet. You can make a difference and find out if you are ready to move to adopting a pet. 
  6. Fostering is an opportunity to do something good for an animal that is homeless and deserves to have a second chance.
  7. You might even fall in love with your foster and in return give love as a foster family. We did when we fostered our family dog, Oakley, when he was a 3 month old puppy from Etobicoke Humane Society (EHS). I was at the shelter for a video for our volunteer appreciation. I was handed two German Shepherd puppies to hold. When I came home from EHS I showed my husband the vidoes and we were captured by the cute puppies. We decided to take one of the puppies out of the shelter and brought home Oakley as a foster. We did not know how our senior 12 year old dog, Lily, would react to a new puppy. It went better than expected. We felt more relaxed to take in a new puppy as a foster and see how it goes. It gave our family more time to adjust to having a young dog in the home and get to know Oakley. It didn’t take long for us to fall in love with him. We quickly made the decision to adopt Oakley and he’s a beloved family member and he’s brought us love and fun!! 
  8. You won’t regret fostering an animal. When you open your heart and compassion for a vulnerable animal in need, you can feel good about your decision. You might even find a best furry friend as we did!   

You can find out about foster programs at your local humane societies and municipal animal shelters so it is super easy to help out. Check on their websites for foster programs and you contact them directly.

Most pets need a short-term place to stay with humans in a warm, loving, safe and nurturing home. 

By offering temporary care and sanctuary to a cat or dog, you can provide hope for a homeless animal and better chance at adoption. If you have questions on fostering, please feel free to leave a comment and reach out to me. DM @suzanagartner on Instagram or LinkedIn.