There is always a need for more people to foster animals.

Make a Difference Foster an animal
I have noticed almost every local non-profit rescue group’s website says “full, not accepting pets.”  It is so wonderful that there are so many individuals and groups passionate about helping animals and trying to end needless deaths. However, statistics still show that there are over 3-4 million animals euthanized each year in the United States. As long as we have an overpopulation problem there will be a great need for Foster Parents. Every organization big or small could use more people to foster, allowing them to save more pets.

Foster Responsibilities
Fostering needs may vary depending on the organization or group. Some may need fosters to care for puppies and kittens before they are old enough to be adopted. Others may need temporary care until their is space in the shelter while other animals may need a break from the shelter life if they have been there for a long duration. Lastly, some rescue groups rely entirely on fosters to care for all their adoptable pets because they don’t have a physical facility. In all situations you will be taking care of the animals basic needs, helping them to adjust to a healthy home environment and possibly working on behavioral modifications.

Benefits of Fostering
There are many benefits to fostering. First and foremost you gain the satisfaction of knowing you are making a difference by saving a life. You have the joy and blessing of having pets but not the long term commitment if you aren’t ready or your schedule doesn’t allow. If you have a specific type of animal you like to work with (puppies/kittens, senior pets, special needs, high energy etc.) you can focus your time on them.  You have the opportunity to help many not just one. Lastly, if you are considering adoption, fostering might be the perfect way to find your forever pet.

Letting Go
I have often thought about fostering and worried that I would become to attached to the pets to let go. If you are an animal lover, it can be difficult to say goodbye but rest assured you are providing an amazing service to the animal by caring for him/her and helping prepare him/her for their future home. The ASPCA has a great article “Saying Goodbye to a Foster Pet” and their are additional helpful articles listed below. I have often heard the most successful foster situations are those which end in adoption. Perhaps fostering is your first step in finding the right pet for you:)

Interested in Fostering
If you are interested in fostering, click on the links below of  local non-profits that have fostering programs.
List of Animal Shelters, list_animal_shelters
List of Rescue Groups, list_rescue_groups

Additional Resources:
Cesar Millan on the Magic of Fostering a Dog” on Cesar’s Way, February 14, 2012
Foster Home Handbook” from the Best Friends Animal Society (specific to their program but additional help with information regarding medical care and checklists)
Is Dog Fostering Right for Me?” from Dogster
Is Cat Fostering Right for Me?” from Catster
Tips for being a Good Dog Foster Parent” from Dogster
Tips for being a Good Cat Foster Parent” from Catster
Saying Goodbye to a Foster Pet” from the ASPCA