Welcoming a furry friend temporarily into your home can change an animal's life (and your family's) for the better.
goes to a private home." Many animals arrive at a shelter before they are ready for adoption and can't stay there because they are recovering from an injury or illness, require behavioral therapy, or are too young and need to be house-trained, socialized, and spayed or neutered.
Once the pet is healed or reaches an
While fostering is a great way to help an animal in need without making a permanent commitment, you are doing much more than providing a temporary home. Foster
- Fostering is the perfect first step if you're considering adopting. And many agencies allow families to adopt their foster pets (check beforehand).
- Dogs and cats aren't the only pets that need fostering—you can also host rabbits, birds, reptiles, and even horses.
- The majority of programs involve short-term stints, typically ranging from a few days to four months.
- Shelters and rescue groups usually give families all the supplies they'll need, like food, toys, equipment, medicine, and veterinary care. But, as a donation, you can offer to pay for necessities yourself.
- Most foster programs provide an orientation and training classes that teach basic medical care.
- It's not all a walk in the park. Ask the shelter about the
commitment involved, since newborn kittens require bottle-feeding every
two hours and an injured pet may need several months of
care. Organizations will do their best to match you with a short-term companion that suits your family's lifestyle.
- After you've filled out
your application, shelters will conduct a background check, including calling references and doing a home visit.
- For more info, look into these organizations:
Budders (Bud) is a member of Camp K9 1-ON-1
- ASPCA, aspca.org
- American Kennel Club, akc.org
- Humane Society's Safe Haven for Animals Program, hsus.org
- Military Pets Project, netpets.org
Originally published in the November 1, 2010, issue of Family Circle magazine.