Becoming a foster parent to dogs is another great way to help pets in need. If you’d like to listen to more reasons why you should become a foster dog owner, tune into today’s podcast episode where I’m also going to explain how it can help you and your family as well.
Actually, there are many reasons why animal shelters and animal rescue organizations may be looking for foster families who’d like to adopt their dogs and cats. However, what many future (or current) pet owners get wrong is thinking that these rescue animals will be a hassle because they’ll require special care or will have behavioral issues. But that’s not always the case.
I’m going to walk you through all the benefits of sheltering a dog, and give you resources for learning about pet foster programs in your area. Becoming a foster parent to a dog (or a cat) is much easier than you may think, and you can usually work around your schedule.
Listen to the episode in the video above and find the full podcast transcript below. For more, visit this episode’s post on the official Theory of Pets website.
- Episode link: TOP 018 – Why You Should Become A Foster Parent for Pets
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Reasons to Become a Foster Parent to Dogs
(raw podcast transcript)
Today I want to talk to you guys about a cause that is near and dear to my heart, and it is fostering pets. I think a lot of people when they hear fostering pets they’re kind of have some negative connotations. And maybe if there is a cost associated with it some people are a little bit leery about fostering, because they’re worried that they’re going to get attached to an animal and then the animals going to be gone. They might think that the pets that are fostered in homes can’t adjust in the shelters and they’re having behavior problems and things like that that you’re going to have to deal with, and that’s not always the case.
There are times when, for example, let’s say a dog is in a shelter and he is very vocal and he barks all the time, or he’s very shy and he ends up hiding a lot or not wanting to interact with any animals or people at the shelter. In these instances they may be looking for foster homes because they know that they have a dog who’s not aggressive and maybe not a barker in a home setting, so foster home is just going to be where that dog is more comfortable.
So you know sometimes there are dogs with certain medical issues or separation anxiety where they can’t be alone or they don’t do well in a shelter, but those cases are rare, a lot of times there are other reasons for fostering and so I guess I’ll talk about those first, some of the reasons why animals need to be fostered.
One of those reasons would be that sometimes a shelter or rescue don’t actually have a physical building where they shelter animals, it’s a rescue organization and they work with, let’s say for example dog fighting ring, so they work with like a law enforcement agencies that will find these dog fighting establishments and they’ll once they take care of the issues around the dog fighting then they have all these dogs that need to be placed into a home.
You might get rescues or shelters that work with law enforcement agencies for things like this or that maybe you work with animal control officers once and animals taken from its home. These rescue and shelter organizations will find foster homes for the dogs but they don’t necessarily have a physical shelter where they could take dogs so they find out about dogs that need homes, they work to find foster homes until they can place the dogs with their forever home. So that’s one example.
Sometimes animals are brought in and they’re too young to be adopted, cats, litters of kittens or puppies that are found with either without a mother or that the mother is found but she maybe is malnourished, she’s not being able to produce enough milk to care for her babies so this litter needs to be in a foster home with somebody maybe who’s home a lot of the time that can give the puppies or the kittens the care that they need and feed them, maybe bottle-feed them or take care of them until they’re old enough to be adopted out until they’re usually that’s about eight weeks old. So sometimes the animal’s too young.
In some cases it’s a medical condition, like I had mentioned, maybe there’s a dog with separation anxiety, a dog might be recovering, if it’s a rescue dog, from surgery or some type of an injury and illness that they’ve had to go through treatment for and now they’re in the recovery stages and they just need a quiet place. You know shelters are busy, there’s other animals, there’s people in and out all the time and the people that work at the shelters don’t have time to sit with these animals all the time or maybe to keep an eye on them 24/7 until they’re recovered, so to be in a foster home with somebody who has that ability can really be a godsend for these animals that just need a nice quiet relaxing place to recover.
Or for example a dog with separation anxiety you know they’re going to need a foster home or somebody’s home most of the time to keep them comfortable until a forever home can be found.
And then there’s dogs that just show signs of stress and anxiety when they’re in a shelter, they don’t like the shelter environment but you get them into a home environment and they’re really a great loving, wonderful animal but being in a shelter causes them to pace or hide. Some dogs can have stress issues, forms rashes, scratching, biting, itching, things like that when they’re under high stress, so being in a home environment is much better for that animal.
And then there are some dogs or cats that they’ve never lived in a shelter… sorry, in a home before – these dogs are rescued or they haven’t for a very long time so they have habits and things that aren’t conducive to a home environment, so if you’re willing to take any one of these animals and work with them they’ll get contact with people again and they’re socialized, they’re in a home environment and they can learn those rules that we all need to follow when we’re living in a home environment with pets.
And again you know sometimes I think the most common reason that rescues and shelters are looking for foster homes is that there just isn’t enough space, unfortunately, for all the homeless animals out there. So when the shelters run out of space they still may get calls from animal control officers, law enforcement agencies, they may still have people surrender dogs or cats that they don’t have a room to a home so if they can have foster families lined up, they have a place for these animals to go until they either have them in a shelter or can find a forever home for these dogs.
So what happens typically, and with our local shelter that we work with, they have a list of foster families that will take animals and you… you know they want to get to know you and they want to get to know what you’re looking for, so in the process of giving them all your information for fostering they’re going to ask you questions about how often that you’re home, if you work outside the home, if you would do things with your dog say like walking, hiking, things like that on your down time; what type of home environment you have; do you have other animals; do you have children, things like that.
And they’re really going to get to know you and get to know your family so that when an animal comes in they’re going to be able to match the best animals with the best families. And what they’ll do is they’ll put you on a list and for example like I said with the overpopulation of pets if they get a phone call that says “Geez you know we rescued this old senior dog that needs a home and the shelter doesn’t have room for it,” they’re going to…