Fostering an animal who needs guidance and love is rewarding. You’re literally saving a life when you offer support and structure for an animal in need.  Volunteer foster parents need to have the desire, of course, but should also consider the responsibilities that come with the rewards.

Before you decide to foster, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does your home need any modification?  Think about what needs your chosen animal may have.  Is there enough space?  Do your family members or other pets have any allergies or intolerances that may be an issue?  Is your home safe for a healthy animal of your choice?
  • What kind of foster do you want?  Some people are amazing at behavioral training, some do better with older or physically diminished animals, and some would be best at just offering love and shelter.  Be honest with yourself about what you and your family can handle.
  • Will your insurance cover it?  In the case of large dogs, for instance, an extra insurance rider may be required to protect you from liability, even if the dog hasn’t been a behavioral risk previously.  Double-check your homeowner’s policy.
  • How much financial risk can you assume?  How much you’re responsible for is largely up to the organization through which you’re fostering.  Items like vet bills and ID tags are sometimes covered; additional food or litter may not.  Find out ahead of time what you may have to cover to avoid any surprises.
  • Do you have the time?  Because many fosters have special needs, they can require a bit more love and attention than other pets.  Give some thought to how much time you have for training and other needs before you decide.
  • How good are you at letting go?  Often, the hardest part of being a foster family is having to say goodbye when an adoption goes through.  The beautiful thing about fostering is that it’s temporary.  The worst thing about it is also that it’s temporary.  Make sure you and your family are able to let go when the time comes.

When you’re comfortable with your answers, the application process for fostering is outlined on most organizations’ websites or can be explained by staff volunteer coordinators.  There’s generally a home visit, a check of your references, and an agreement to be signed.

Once approved, it’s just a matter of waiting for an animal that needs your love and care.

Animal rescue has been evolving over the past several years.  Many rescue organizations are moving away from buildings lined with cages to a network of foster homes that help animals experience the full experience of living with a family in a real home.  As the transition to fostering rescue pets takes place, administrative policies also need to change.  In addition, animal shelter insurance has become more necessary than ever before. Let’s explore how the foster system works.

Many animals just entering the foster system have spent a great deal of time on the streets. Foster “parents” need to have a great deal of patience and understanding on how to train these animals to live in a home environment.  Applications need to be thoroughly checked and home visits made.  Regardless of the animal’s age, these applicants need to realize they may have to housebreak or litter train the animal.  Dogs may never have experienced walking on a leash and may exhibit signs of anxiety. They may be destructive and even bite if scared.

The overseeing organization is financially responsible for any repairs to damaged homes or medical costs associated with bites.  Without animal shelter insurance it is unlikely the overseeing agency will be able to handle costs for any period of time.  Possible lawsuits could destroy what you have set out to accomplish. This can be the case even quicker if an animal attending an adoption event becomes scares and accidentally bites someone.

By thoroughly checking out the families and homes that will foster the animals, providing training for the special needs of foster animals and being able to provide compensation for property damage or medical treatments, you can run an effective foster rescue that will increase the chances of your charges eventually moving on to permanent homes of their very own.

There are hundreds of abandoned animals every year and they are desperate for a loving home.  Dogs and cats make excellent pets, companions and family additions. An animal shelter that takes in pets wants to assure that they are put in safe homes where they will live a long happy life.

Making sure a pet is taken to a good home takes work.  Many people wish to obtain a pet on a whim, or because a child simply asks for one. Adopting a pet requires research by the family and a commitment of several years.  Go to a humane animal shelter with a good reputation.

Since a pet requires interaction and care every day, it is important that a screening process includes finding out about the family’s schedule and day to day activities. Being home alone inside a house for twelve or more hours a day is not a good scenario for a dog.  Staff at the animal shelter should ask about the family’s schedule for this reason.

Families who have a member who works at home is an ideal situation.  Other families who may have a member who works or goes to school near home is suitable, as well.  Family schedule options involving members in and out at various times of the day offers great stability for a pet. It breaks up the day for the animal and it begins to realize that it can look forward to human interaction daily at given times.

Reassure potential pet adopters at the animal shelter that when their pet has companionship, they are more likely to be co-operative and well behaved pets. Training is recommended. Pets are best when given attention and encouraged to play.

Interaction with a pet, playtime and affection, strengthens the bond between owner and pet. Pets do require some time for training and transition to a new home.  Certain types of pets may be better for some families and this can be discussed.  Cats may be a better option for some families and certain dog breeds are best suited for different levels of activity and for personality types.

Pets may not be a great idea for people who often travel for pleasure or business.  However, if plans include taking the pet or having a responsible person care for it, then it can still be a good fit.

Animal shelters utilize foster home and adoptive home screening measures to confirm that pets being adopted or fostered will be in great care.