Being a foster parent to homeless pets can be extremely beneficial to every one involved. SAINT is extremely appreciative to all the foster parents who have helped us throughout the years. There is always a need for more. Please read about the wonderful ways that foster parents can help pets, shelters, rescue organizations, and themselves.
Fostering pets literally saves lives. Most rescue organizations work
out of their homes and do not have a facility where they can house the animals they help. Volunteering as a foster parent for these rescue organization allows them to remove more animals from the shelter, thus allowing the shelter the ability to accommodate more animals. Increasing the number of animals that are pulled from the shelter and put in foster homes will decrease the number of animals that are euthanized.
Older pets and special needs pets have a better chance of being adopted. Pets in these two categories are often over looked in the shelters for younger, healthier pets. They often end up being euthanized despite their potential for living a quality life for several years with proper care. Fostering these pets can give the rescue organization the time it needs to find a home that is willing to dedicate the love and care that is needed and ensure that they live out their remaining years happy and comfortable.
Fostering pets for a rescue organization allows that organization to spend more money on the care of the animals. It also allows them to help a larger number of animals, because that money is not being spent on the cost of a permanent facility or a temporary boarding facility. The vast majority of shelters and rescue organizations will pay for all of the care and supplies that a pet needs while in foster care. The foster parent need only to supply shelter, possible transportation, and lots of love.
Fostering homeless pets keeps them healthier while they wait for their forever home. Despite the best efforts of shelter staff, shelters can become petri dishes for infectious diseases such as upper respiratory diseases, parvo virus, and panleukopenia. Infectious diseases spread quickly in shelters due to crowded conditions, the continual flow of unvaccinated animals, an immune systems compromised by stress. Some of these diseases can be fatal, especially for cats and dogs under one year of age. Fostering pets takes them out of these conditions and into homes that are disease free where they can remain healthy and thrive.
Fostering a pet reduces the physical and emotional stress of the pet. Shelters can be extremely stressful for many animals. Though shelters do their best to reduce this stress, the environment in a shelter just isn’t like that of a quiet, safe, comfy home. Prolonged stress can be detrimental physically and emotionally. Stress leads to an increase in cortisol which is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Excess cortisol suppresses the immune system making it harder for the body to fight infections. Shelters are havens for infectious diseases. Stress can cause an animal not to eat properly which can also lead to an increased risk of illness. Diarrhea is also often a side affect of stress and can lead to dehydration and malnourishment.
A pet in a foster home is more likely to reveal his true personality. Many animals at a shelter can be extremely timid and fearful or overly excited. It can be very difficult to determine how they would behave in a more relaxed environment and how they may do with other animals, kids and people. Foster homes provide pets with a safe place to relax and let their true colors shine through. Knowing a pet’s true personality makes it much easier to place the animal in a home that fits the needs of the animal and the adopters. This helps to reduce the number of animals that are returned to shelters and rescue organizations.
Fostering a pet can help you determine if you are ready to provide a forever home. If you have been thinking of giving a homeless pet a permanent home, and you’re not quite sure what breed, species, size, age, and temperament you are looking for, fostering a pet could be ideal for you. Fostering a pet can also be a good option if you have other pets or children and wish to see how they react to having another pet in the home and how that pet reacts to them.