Fostering animals is a great way to help out an animal shelter. By bringing an animal from a shelter into your home and taking care of it, you are freeing up space that can be used for other animals in the shelter. Also, you are able to give the animal more personal attention and help the animal get used to being in a home while having more human contact.
While fostering has many benefits, there are also things that should be considered first before fostering. It may not be an easy job to be a foster parent of a shelter animal. One of the things that may be hard about fostering is the possibility of becoming attached to the animal. If you form an attachment to the animal, you may find it hard to let it go when it is time to find a potential adopter. You may be able to adopt the animal and keep it. However, if this was not your intention in the first place or you wanted to keep fostering animals, you have to take into consideration that you may form an attachment and might possibly want to keep the animal.
Another thing to consider when fostering an animal is that you will most likely have to pay for it’s food, litter and toys. When I fostered for my local animal shelter, I paid for everything except vet care. The shelter usually covers the cost of any vet care that the animal receives. You’ll want to make sure that you can afford the costs of food and litter, especially if you are taking multiple animals into your house at one time, such as a litter of kittens.
Sometimes a shelter animal may already be sick or may end up getting sick. Overpopulated shelters may have sick animals because there are so many animals and some infections or illnesses are contagious and spread. If you bring home a sick animal or the animal becomes sick while under your care, you may have to bring the animal back to the shelter for vet care if the animal becomes very ill. I have had to do this with my fosters. All of my foster kittens were sick with upper respiratory infections. I had to take a few trips back and forth to the shelter to have them checked out. I was given medication to administer to the kittens as well.
If the animal is very sick, it may have to be euthanized. Unfortunately, this has happened to me as well. I became attached to one kitten who was extremely sick. I did everything I could to try to get the kitten in better health, but the vet staff said that he had to be euthanized because his lungs were underdeveloped and he would never get better. I cried and felt very sad for awhile.
You will most likely have to find a potential adopter for the foster animal. This may be a stressful experience, especially because you want the animal to go to a good home. You might post ads on an adoption website, ask relatives or friends if they are interested in adopting an animal, or attend an adoption event at the local animal shelter. I was lucky to adopt all of the kittens I fostered out to my friends and relatives and they are now in loving homes. However, I worried for awhile before I found people to take them, where they would end up, and how they would be treated in their new homes.
These are just a few things to consider before fostering an animal from an animal shelter. Fostering is a great and rewarding experience, however, it may not be an easy thing to do. You may want to make sure you can handle the responsibilities and afford the care involved in fostering an animal before deciding to do so. If you feel that would like to foster an animal, you could contact your local animal shelter or you may be able to apply online at their website for their foster program.