The Benefits of Fostering

If you’ve ever considered providing foster care for an animal, you may be surprised at the number of benefits that come with it. Not only is it a rewarding undertaking for oneself, but also shelter animals and their staff, and of course, the future owners of animals currently under care. Below you will learn about the positive impact you can have by doing something you already love to do.

Why Foster?

  • Animals who may be ill, injured, or recovering from procedures can recover in the comfort of a home with more one on one care and attention.
  • Some animals may need to learn socialization skills and get exposed to different environments, people, and other fur friends to have success with adoption in the future. Keep in mind; young animals can be more easily adopted out if they have basic training and behaviors established. As a foster, you can help the house break the animals in your care, and teach them behaviors such as crate training, potty training, and basic commands.
  • Fostering gives you the unique opportunity to observe an animal in the environment they will ultimately end up in. Providing your insight and feedback to shelter staff on how the animals did while in your house helps them figure out the best permanent home situation to place them into in the future.
  • Fostering animals helps conserve kennel space and resources in local shelters, which allows room for other animals in need to be admitted into the facilities. Litters of kittens are consistently born from spring through fall, and although shelters are always in need of fosters and adopters, it’s common for them to be at capacity during this time, and have a greater need for fosters than adopters. Unfortunately, some shelters do put animals down if they reach capacity, or if they are at the shelter for too long. By fostering from these shelters, you could directly be saving lives!
  • Kittens and puppies who are either born while in shelters or dropped off at such a young age will be fragile and may need to be hand-reared until they are old enough to stay in the shelter or be eligible for adoption. Often, shelter staff heavily rely on volunteers to help raise these babies in their homes due to their time constraints at the shelter.
  • Long term shelter residents sometimes get fostered or go on “sleepovers” at foster homes so they can enjoy a break from the shelter environment and be in a home with a human connection. This is essential for their mental health and general well being!
  • Fostering could provide you with a “test run” to see if you are equipped and ready to commit to the responsibilities of being a full-time pet owner.
  • Fostering can count towards volunteer hours for you or your children, and it is very rewarding for all parties involved.
  • If you currently have a pet and are considering a new furry addition, fostering could also provide the opportunity to see how your pet will respond to another animal in their home.

As a foster, your goal is to provide the animal(s) with a safe home environment, love, attention, and any extra husbandry care that may be necessary while in your care. Shelter staff will be more than happy to give you advice and support while you are fostering, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Typically, shelters will provide their foster parents with food and financial coverage for the animal’s medical expenses, including vet bills and costs for medication.

Now that you know all the benefits of fostering, we hope you’ll spread the word to your friends and family to help build a network of foster families in your local community. Please consider fostering animals awaiting their forever home, or, if you feel ready to adopt, that’s just as great! Go check out your local shelters and get started today. There are plenty of facilities out there in need of help either way!

YHPC partners with Shelter2Rescue, an organization that works to transfer cats and dogs out of rural shelters and bring them to rescues and sanctuaries in the DFW area where they have a better chance of being adopted out. They have a vast network of veterinarians and supplies, and they provide financial support to their foster families for these needs.

Credit: Robin Laclede