I have volunteered in animal rescue for several years now, and have learned that there is always a need for foster homes. We have fostered a few times, however we have a dog who is dog-aggressive, so we cannot do it too often. If you are in a situation where you can foster, I would encourage it as there are many benefits to doing so. Some of these benefits include the following:
- You increase the animal’s chance of being adopted – dogs and cats will learn social skills, proper behavior, and basic training while living in your home. By the time animals are ready for adoption, they are already trained and have increased their confidence, so that they can be easily transitioned to their new ‘forever home’.
- Many animal shelters cannot function without foster homes, as they do not have enough space to house all of the rescues that they bring in. By fostering an animal, you make space for additional animals in need to be brought into care.
- It’s a good way to see if you are ready for an animal. If you have been thinking about getting a dog or cat but are not sure if you are ready to fully commit, then fostering is a good way to try it out.
- The animal gets to live with your family rather than at a shelter. It is fairly stressful for animals to stay at shelters, as they are noisy and not staffed 24 hours. When living in foster homes, there is more time for one-on-one interaction, play and exercise, and social skills and training can be a focus.
- Volunteering feels good. Fostering an animal is a way to give back to your community, and it is also a very rewarding experience. Animals have a way of showing their appreciation every day.
- It’s a way to help without spending money. If you don’t have the money to donate to rescue programs, you can donate your time by fostering. Most organizations will cover all of the costs involved, including food, bedding, and vet care.
- You are saving an animal’s life. This is the most important reason that I foster, as they would not have been rescued if foster homes were not available to take them in and care for them.