Have A Pet, without OWNING A Pet

I love both of my dogs, but it’s very clear the difference in their personalities when we first got them.  Ella was very reserved, absolutely terrified of men, and was wary about everyone in my family.  Before we got her, Ella spent her time at a shelter, where she was caged most of the day and her only human interaction came when she would get walked.  Riley on the other hand was playful, happy, and easily adaptable to his environment.  Unlike Ella, the organization we adopted Riley from found him a foster home to stay with.  It’s often very difficult to emphasize the importance of foster homes until you start really seeing the difference in the comfortability of adoptable animals.  Today, I wanted to talk about some reasons that maybe you, or someone you know, should become an animal foster parent.

The lighting may not be great, but the company sure is

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  • Frees up space in shelters

I don’t think we can even begin to fathom how over crowded our animal shelters are.  That’s because we tend to have more dogs being brought in than we being adopted (for various reasons, and a big proponent for why I believe we should adopt and not shop).  For every animal that is taken by a foster until they get adopted, there is a space made available for a new dog being brought to the shelter.  By fostering an animal, you also make it possible for there to be more no-kill shelters, and allow shelter animals to have more one-on-one treatment with either the difficult animals, or the traumatized animals.  A lot of kill shelters get that way because they simply do not have the room to house all the animals that come in, and often times that means euthanizing the “less likely to get adopted” (meaning pitbulls, rottweilers, older animals).  

  • Rescue Organizations Depend on Fosters

Rescue organizations, unlike shelters, do not have space to actually carry animals.  Instead, they rescue the animals and depend on fosters to house them while they look for potential adoptees.  Like I said, Riley had a very amazing foster family before we adopted him (thank you Diane), but had he not had a foster home the organization would not have been able to rescue him.  Not only that, but many rescue organizations work with shelters (especially kill shelters) to try and rescue animals on “death row”, and fosters are a big part of why they are able to do that.

  • Safer for the animal

Many organizations and shelters use fosters to take care of animals who are too young to be adopted, who are recovering for surgery, or have anxiety prone personalities.  Being in a home where they have space to roam and more one-on-one attention really helps them in recovery, growth, and lowers their stress levels immediately.

  • Non-committal

I’ve been talking about why this is good for the animals (which should be enough but…).  However, if you’re someone like me who is terrified of commitment, or know that you just don’t have the long-term schedule to adopt an animal, fostering is the best way to still have an animal by your side.  One, you get to help a pet who is in need of love and nurturement, but at the end of the day it isn’t your decade-plus long commitment.  

  • Socialization

Many fosters usually have more than one pet at a time (or have their own pet along with the fostered animal) which is really good for socialization of the animal.  It also helps for animals to socialize with humans, making it a lot easier for them to be adopted out.

  • Rewarding

In general, fostering is a rewarding experience.  You know that you had a firsthand effect on an animals life.  You helped it stay out of a cage, you allowed it to socialize, you taught it how to love and be affectionate, and most of all, chances are you are the reason it could be adopted.  There are so many other reasons why fostering is important, and why you may want to consider the fact, but above all you should know that the experience is rewarding.

I hope you all enjoyed this post.  I’ll see you on Friday with some wildlife 🙂

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