The month of May is National Foster Care Month! Many of our furry patients are former fosters, or foster fails. Fostering fills a critical gap for pets that need healing, growth, training, and/or socialization before they can be put up for adoption. You may want to consider fostering if you’re an animal lover. This can be a very rewarding and enriching experience! Of course, fostering isn’t right for everyone. A vet lists some things to consider before moving forward below.
You don’t actually need a huge home to foster animals. However, you do need to have sufficient space for your furry wards. If you have children and/or other pets, you’ll need to be able to keep your foster charges in separate areas or rooms.
Finances are something else to consider. Some shelters will provide some or all food and supplies, but not all of them can do that. You may have some out-of-pocket costs for things like food, bedding, supplies, treats, toys, and veterinary care. These can add up quickly, so be sure you are ready for it.
A formal education isn’t needed to foster pets. However, it’s best to have experience with animals, and a good basic understanding about their care and behavior needs. You’ll likely go through some training and onboarding. A home visit may also be a requirement. Talk to your local shelters to find out more.
It can be very rewarding to see a pet you’ve cared for going off to their forever home, but it can also be hard to let go. Understandably, many people find it difficult to say goodbye to pets they have grown fond of. Hence the term ‘foster fails.’ Foster fails are what happens when people get so attached to their fosters that they adopt them as their own. This isn’t a bad thing, as of course the entire point is to find that pet a loving home. However, you may want to try volunteering instead if you think this would be too hard for you.
There’s usually no set schedule for when a pet will be adopted or ready to be brought to the shelter for adoption. For young animals, this may happen when they’re old enough to stay in the shelter overnight. In other cases, it may be dependent on socialization, growth, healing, or even available space. Consider your schedule, flexibility, and upcoming plans.
As your animal clinic, we’re all about offering great care. Call us today!