Even if you can’t adopt a kitten or dog from a shelter, there are many ways that you can help the cause. One way is to foster animals while they wait to find their forever homes. This will help keep the shelters empty to allow more animals to come in and will also help the staff by keeping some of the care off of their plates. However, you can’t just go into a shelter and tell them you want to foster. Some reliable websites provide guidelines as well as a place for you to apply to be approved as a foster pet parent. Here are some things to make sure you get in order before you decide.
The first requirement to be a pet foster parent is a reliable form of transportation. The animals in your care will need to get back and forth to veterinary appointments, and you never know when something may come up and you will need to take them in an emergency situation. A form of transportation will also be better for the animals, as you can take them to adoption events that the shelter participates in to increase the likelihood that they will be adopted.
You also want to make sure that there are a few hours in your day that can be dedicated to your new foster animal. Animals, especially dogs, crave a lot of attention, and if you are fostering a young or active dog, sitting around at home all day just won’t do. Schedule time to go on walks or go out to the park and stretch your legs. This will also help ensure that the dogs are socialized for their new homes.
You want to make sure that fostering isn’t something you will do for a few months and then want to give the animal back. Some animals take a long time to get adopted, and the shelter is relying on your to hold to your commitment and may not be prepared for the event in which their foster parents keep bringing the animals back.
Some places will ask for references, so if you have prior fostering experience it would be a good idea to track down those prior shelters to help your case. Even if it isn’t a requirement, it will make you a prime candidate for fostering if you do have the references over someone who does not. If you do not have foster experience, include any other relevant pet experience you have.
Fostering a pet can be beneficial not only to your household but also to the pet as well as the shelter and other animals. The animal you take in will live in a loving home instead of a cage, and the shelter staff will be able to save more animals due to the vacancy. If you think that you are ready to begin the fostering process, take a look at various to make sure you are prepared, then reach out to your local shelter and ask about any dogs or cats needing a temporary loving home.