Being a volunteer foster for any animal shelter or rescue is one of the most invaluable volunteer services you can offer. It will leave you feeling rewarded knowing you have saved a life.
There are so many reasons to become a foster. Reasons that are not only beneficial to homeless pets, but to you, your family, and your pets as well.
- Fostering frees up much needed space in an overcrowded shelter.
- Saves animals from a probable death due to overcrowding, illness, or imjury.
- Removes pets from noisy, overcrowded shelter where they receive little individual attention.
- Allows pets to thrive in a home atmosphere where more of their true habits and personalities show.
- Gives you an opportunity to keep a pet without long term commitment.
- Gives any current pets you may have a playmate.
- Provides companionship for your children while teaching them how to care for another being.
- Prepares you for the long term commitment of one day having a pet of your own.
The responsibilities of fostering can vary from pet to pet depending on many factors like overall pet health, age, breed, etc., but the basics are all the same; love, care, shelter, and companionship. If you are prepared to provide even the basics for a foster pet, it’s something you may be well suited for and should look into further.
Each pet shelter or rescue has its own set of guidelines for fostering. Check with your local pet shelter or rescue to see if your situation meets their guidelines. Sit down and talk with their foster counselor and determine what type of pet would be best suited for you. Once a pet comes in, that meets mutual criteria, you will be notified.
Many times shelters or rescues will provide food, medical care, and other necessities for their foster pets. But if you’re one of those people who consider the expense as part of the fostering process even the law gives you a little shelter for your donation dollars. As of 2012 the law has determined that many expenses incurred while fostering pets for a 501(c)(3) non-profit shelter or rescue, to be tax deductible as a charitable contribution.
During the time you are fostering you’ll be expected to treat the animal as your own, not only providing necessities, but love and companionship as well. Some fosters go the extra step and provide some training for their foster pets.
Fostered animals stand out as being more adaptable and better socialized than the average shelter dog or cat making them more attractive to potential adopters. Foster pets are settled into more of a normal daily routine and will easily make the transition from foster to their forever homes.
While fostering, you will have an insight to each foster animal that workers in a shelter might not see. You have the ability to build on their profiles used to show them off to potential adopters. You also have unbridled access to each of your foster pets which means plenty of opportunity to take photographs or video to add to each animal’s bio. Any detailed information you can give, including images, makes your foster that much more attractive to potential adopters. The more they can know and see about the animal, the more interested they will show.
If you are interested in become a pet foster, please contact your nearest shelter or rescue and inquire about their registration and qualification guidelines.