|Found in a field with a litter of puppies|
There are so many animals who need homes and often they are put in the wrong hands to begin with then wind up at an animal shelter or in a rescue center. Sometimes just fostering can save animals lives from being taken. Foster families help shelters by allowing them the chance to make more room for other animals found or abandoned.
When you become a foster family, the center will call you and ask you if you want to take a pet home for a week, or two, sometimes more. If you say yes, you can help make more room at the no-kill-shelter for them to take in rescues from the kill-shelters or off the streets.
Besides, the best thing you can do before you decide to own a pet one day, is to foster first. It’s a great way to test out the type of pet with the family and make sure everyone is ready.
We do this at our house and it’s been incredibly rewarding (and eye opening).
In the last year, we have fostered 13 dogs and 6 cats, but NO, not all at once.
Actually, the only foster animals which were here at the same time, were the 6 cats which were made up of 5 new-born kittens and a mommy, that my 16 year old took in.
She cared for them everyday before and after school. The litter eventually was adopted out, even the mama. My daughter received thank you cards from a couple of their new owners and was delighted that she could make a difference.
Before this foster experience, that same teenager was not at all interested in becoming a mother, all because she didn’t think she’d be good at it. Today, she is confident that she’s already a nurturing young lady who some day would be able to handle the responsibility of caring for others. (I’ve been telling her that for years because I see how she works with children- but sometimes kids need to do something on their own – their own way – to see and feel their ability.)
I’d love to go into greater detail about our foster animal experiences but I just don’t have nearly enough time or space in this blog. Read our family column (Family Matters with Amber) for more info, or call your local animal rescue center or no-kill shelter and see if they could use foster families. (Here is one we foster for.)
Here is my foster dog and new pet 🙂 After fostering her for almost four weeks, I couldn’t give her up, we had a bond, she was happy, and we are enjoying our time together!
Everyone in the family is, actually! Including the cats! It was a blessing to foster first, because so far, out of all them, none were just right for us until….Marni.
Now, she is very happy, healthy and content in her permanent home.