Have you ever considered fostering a shelter or rescue pet? Fostering is a significant part of the animal rescue movement. Knowing that you’ve helped an animal get off to a strong, healthy start in life is one of the best feelings in the world.
Fostering most often entails caring for dogs and cats, but all animals can benefit from fostering. Homeless pigs, birds, etc., all have nurturing needs that must be resolved before they can be placed with forever families.
Additionally, fostering can be an incredibly life-affirming experience for you as well. Here are just a few of the amazing things that take place when you decide to foster an animal.
Fostered Pets Feel Loved
Animals are fostered because something has gone wrong in their lives: they’ve been abused, abandoned at a shelter, or hurt. When a pet comes home with you, he instinctively knows that he is a better place. Although this is not his final home, an animal senses that he will be cared for, and not be harmed in any way.
You’re Saving Lives
Each fostered animal is one less life that will be euthanized. According to Zenit Chughtai, spokesperson for the Washington Humane Society, “Not only are they helping us get animals adopted, but they are freeing up space at our adoption centers for other animals in need.”
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It’ll Make You Feel Great
Washington Humane Society’s foster coordinator Jennah Billeter says that, “Fosters are the light and joy of my day. They swoop in and help all the animals that need their care the most.”
Indeed, it’s hard to make animals feel better about themselves without also feeling better about ourselves. Watching a scared dog come out of its shell with your dedicated efforts and love is a win-win situation!
Your Human Kids Will Love It, Too
Kelly Duer is a foster pet parent who loves witnessing the changes that take place as animals learn to trust, and says that the transformation process is significant for her own kids as well.
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“Interacting and gaining the trust of these abandoned dogs, many of whom have also been mistreated, has been incredible for their self-esteem,” says Duer. “It’s been a wonderful experience for all of us.”
So, are you ready to foster now? Most rescues and shelters have guidelines online, or you can visit in person.
And, as Lucy Rockdale, founder of My Buddy Dog Rescue acknowledges, “It’s never easy to say goodbye … but seeing their happy ending makes it all worthwhile.”