Fostering a pet can be one of the most rewarding experiences. Since fostering involves bringing a pet into your home temporarily, it’s especially beneficial for someone who loves animals, but is unable to give one a permanent home. Fostering can also be a great way to teach children how to handle animals and help a family decide whether they are ready to commit to adopting a pet.I know first-hand from my nine years working at the Michigan Humane Society that fostering was a crucial part of our existence. When a litter of young kittens would come into our shelter, unless a foster home was available immediately, the kittens would have to be euthanized. I spoke with Suzanne Zimmerly, a long time foster volunteer who stated, “I’ve been fostering cats and kittens since 1991. At one point, I had fostered over 300. I know that I saved their lives. If I hadn’t been there, most of them would not have made it. Caring for the ones that are sick and injured is incredibly rewarding, knowing you have helped to heal them. I’m still at it 24 years later. I truly dislike it when people say, ‘Oh, I can’t foster; it would be too hard to give them up.’ Without foster homes, they have no chance. You’ll get over giving them up when you see the happiness you bring to their new forever homes! Foster homes make for a better world for homeless pets.”If you are considering fostering a pet, according to Petfinder, there are some questions you should ask first in order to know if you would be a good fit for fostering:How long will I be expected to foster? If it’s until a suitable home is found, how long do you expect that to take?What happens if I can no longer care for the pet?Who pays for medical bills if they arise? Does that include treatments for my pets if they catch something from my foster pet?What should I do if there’s a medical emergency?Who is responsible for communicating with potential adopters, screening them and introducing the pet to them?Will I be required to bring him/her to adoption events and, if so, where/when?Will you provide food, litter, supplies (such as a leash or a litter box), medications, etc., or will I be expected to?If I have a problem, whom can I contact? If I leave a message, how quickly will that person get back to me?Could my foster pet be deemed unadoptable and, if so, what happens then?Can I adopt him if I choose?
Source: Foster a Pet, Save a Life