May is National Foster Care Month! Many of our furry patients are former fosters, or foster fails. Fostering fills a crucial gap for pets that need growth, healing, training, and/or socialization before they can be put up for adoption. If you’re an animal lover, you may want to consider fostering. This can be a very rewarding and enriching experience! Of course, this isn’t going to be right for everyone. A vet lists some things to consider before moving forward below.
You don’t necessarily need a huge home to foster animals. However, you do need to have enough 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 rooms or areas.
Finances are also something to consider. Some shelters will provide some or all food and supplies, but not all of them have the resources for that. You may have some out-of-pocket costs for things like food, supplies, bedding, toys, treats, and veterinary care. These can add up quickly, so be sure you are ready for it.
You don’t need a formal education to foster pets. However, it’s best to have experience with animals, and a good basic understanding about their behavior and care needs. You’ll likely go through some training and onboarding. A home visit may also be required. 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 bittersweet. 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 themselves. This isn’t a bad thing, as of course the entire point is to find that pet a loving home. However, if you think this would be too hard for you, maybe try volunteering instead.
There’s usually no set date when a pet will be adopted or ready to be brought to the shelter for adoption. With young animals, this may happen when they’re old enough to stay in the shelter overnight. In other cases, it may be dependent on healing, growth, socialization, or even available space. Consider your schedule, flexibility, and upcoming plans.
As your animal clinic, we’re dedicated to offering great care. Call us today!