Pet ownership is a big responsibility, but it also brings with it a lot of joy. If you have the time, desire, and ability to provide a loving home to a dog, cat, or other animal, but are also willing to let the pet go after a time, you might want to consider fostering a pet.
Many pets that are up for adoption make the transition from a shelter to their forever homes with the help
of people willing to temporarily open their homes and hearts.
Fostering a pet means providing a temporary home for an animal that is on the road to adoption. You give
them all the things they need, such as food, shelter, and love. Sometimes the pet is in need of special
attention (psychological and/or medical), or is very young.
If you decide you’d like to foster a pet, consult with the organization that is putting the pet up for adoption for requirements, training, and special instructions. You should have supplies necessary for the health and well-being of the pet, such as food, toys, litter, beds, etc. Some organizations will take care of medical costs, so be sure to inquire about that.
Fostering a pet is no different than owning a pet, so you have the same responsibilities to care for the every day needs of your guest. In fact, some pets that need fostering will demand more of your time and energy. Some will be recovering from an illness or injury, some might be nursing kittens or puppies, and some might have socialization issues that need a lot of attention and patience.
One of the biggest considerations when fostering a pet is your ability to let the pet go when it gets adopted into a permanent home. It’s natural to get attached to a pet you care for, but you’ll have to be able to say good-bye at some point.
That may be days, months, or even years after you first begin to foster the pet, but it will happen. Of course, if you totally fall in love with the pet, you can always take the necessary steps to adopt him into your own home!
Contact your local humane society or animal shelter to find out if they have fostering programs and how you
can get involved. Requirements to become a foster home for a pet may vary depending on the organization.