Finding Reliable Foster Caregivers

October 22, 2014

The decision to foster an animal that would otherwise be confined to a cage at the shelter, or worse, euthanized, is a commendable act. The goal is to get more people as an animal shelter volunteer to open not only their hearts, but also their homes to these animals. A good place to start looking for more potential foster families is right at the shelter.
Information on foster programs for individuals that are adopting can also spread the word. These kinds of people will be much more inclined to pass the cause along to their friends and families, perhaps opening more opportunities for adoption or foster care in the future.
Any animal shelter volunteer should be made aware of the growing need for foster positions, but they will also need to know about the toll foster care can exact on an individual. Tight emotional bonds with the foster pet in need are inevitable. It’s almost always a bittersweet goodbye when the animal either goes back to the shelter or moves on to its forever home. These emotional strains are at times severe and foster volunteers should be properly prepared for this kind of eventuality from the beginning.
The idea is to find reliable long term volunteers that will continue to help these animals by opening their homes time and time again to a creature in need. A support structure should be in place to help volunteers cope with stress. It should offer insight into difficulties the animals might be having and provide needed education to would-be foster parents.
Successful foster programs include both staff and animal shelter volunteers working closely together, allocating resources and finding the right home for the right pet, even if it’s just temporarily in these cases. In some really lucky turn of events, the animals may even find a permanent home within a foster care situation.

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