This article was written by Linda Stewart
If Claire Haskins has piqued your interest in fostering an animal [see Fostering to Furever article], there is a great need for your help. To make sure you and the animal will find fulfillment together – whether it’s for one month or six months – check out the organizations’ websites. If fostering doesn’t work for you but you would like to help, there is a need for donations and sponsors. (Sponsorship directly supports the particular pet of your choosing to cover veterinary expenses and means your contribution will not be allocated to other program funds.)
If you are considering fostering, here are some questions you can ask yourself.
*Do you have the personality to be a foster family? Remember that there are limits in most cities as to the number of pets you can have in your home before exceeding local regulations. And remember that you can’t adopt every pet you foster – you will need to be able to let some of those lovable critters go to another home.
*Do you have the patience to work with an animal that may have been traumatized or abused? Pets who have been abused may not readily accept the love and care you want to give. Give them time to learn what a great home feels like.
*Can you find a pet that will work with your residence? I once lived across the street from an older couple that had two Newfoundland dogs – big dogs – in the same sized townhouse that I lived in. It must have worked for them, but in general, more active or large dogs need more space to exercise and stretch out.
*Do you have the time to exercise your pet daily? A small pet can easily be exercised inside your home. If you have a good-sized yard or regularly take an evening walk, you can incorporate your medium to large foster pet into your life. If not, are you prepared to make some changes to achieve your goals?
*Do you have dog parks in your neighborhood and can your dog play well in a public spot? Check on dog parks in your neighborhood (see map). The rescue organization will have details about your foster pet and will let you know if it’s a good idea to take your furry friend to the park to be off-leash.
*Do you have the time to bring the adoptee to adoption events? Many of the rescue shelters have volunteers that can help with the errands if needed. Nevertheless, it is important to keep your foster pet up to date on vaccinations and treated for any injuries.
If you’re interested in being a foster parent to a pet, contact Ruff Start or the other rescue organizations in the area to get more details.