Valdosta Scene June 2022 | Page 47

Answers to common pet fostering questions

Animal shelters serve as temporary way stations for animals that are between homes . The purpose of shelters is to offer food and safe surroundings for surrendered or lost pets until they can be reunited with owners or be adopted by new families . The ASPCA says around 6.3 million companion animals enter U . S . shelters every year , with a nearly even split between dogs and cats . While shelter pet numbers are on the decline since 2011 , many shelters simply cannot house too many animals . In many instances , shelters rely on pet foster families .

What is pet fostering ?
Fostering a companion animal is an agreement by an individual to care for a needy pet in his or her private residence until the animal is placed in a permanent new home . Many times shelters will ask foster parents to step up and house puppies to provide early socialization and training to acclimate these young animals to living in homes .
Who pays for fostering costs ?
The question of financing foster care depends on the organization one works with . Most shelters or rescue organizations will cover at least some of the costs of supplies and medical care . However , this is not always the case . It is important for potential foster parents to understand the commitment fostering requires before signing up .
What are some benefits to fostering for the people involved ?
While there are many benefits to the pet , including a less stressful , quiet environment , people get something out of fostering , too . Foster families can provide love and affection to an animal that needs it . It can be rewarding to do something selfless , and teaches compassion to everyone in the household . Since having a pet is a large responsibility , pet fostering also serves as an introductory lesson for anyone considering becoming a permanent pet parent . When fostering a pet , everyone in the household gets to see the day-to-day tasks that pet ownership requires .
How long is the fostering term ?
The ASPCA says that time commitments for fostering can vary . Sometimes it may be a matter of weeks or it could be months , depending on the foster program and the pet ’ s situation .
What are common expectations ? A foster program will explain their specific expectations . These may include training the pets to void outdoors or in a litter box . Foster parents may be expected to teach a dog to rest in his crate or basic commands .
Who can I reach out to ? The animal care resource Great Pet Care says municipal shelters , nonprofit shelters and nonprofit animal rescue groups typically have fostering programs . Rescue groups tend to have more time and resources to provide temporary pet parents with more compatible animal matches .
Fostering a pet can be a rewarding and worthwhile experience for pets and people .
June 2022 | Valdosta Scene 47