About fostering

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All sorts of pets need foster careWhat is foster caring?

A foster carer is someone who provides a safe, nurturing environment for a shelter animal until a permanent home can be found. Pounds, shelters and rescue groups around Australia are dedicated to rescuing homeless pets. However, many have limited physical facilities and are only able to hold pets for a few days before needing to ‘make space’ for new animals. To save pets from the threat of euthanasia, these groups rely heavily on a network of compassionate foster carers to give pets more time to be permanently rehomed.

Foster caring allows a much smoother transition when the animal is placed into his new home. As you can imagine, being kept in a shelter can be very stressful and traumatic for many animals. In your home they have a chance to feel safe and secure, to be nurtured, exercised and socialised. As a foster carer, your pet will be matched with your lifestyle and circumstances. Your shelter or rescue group will provide ongoing information and support to ensure both you and your foster pet enjoy their stay in your home.

There are as many different people becoming foster carers as there are pets; families who have space for one more pet, singles who would love a pet but can’t yet commit, retired couples who travel part of the year, parents who want to teach their children about caring for animals, people who would like a second pet but just aren’t sure, people who care about animal welfare and are willing to help save a life… all you need is a genuine love of animals and a willingness to help.

Why do pets need foster carers?

Each week, hundreds of animals end up in shelters and pounds through no fault of their own. Many shelters and rescue groups rely on networks of compassionate foster carers to provide a temporary home to pets that they would not otherwise be able to save, due to limited space.

A foster carer provides a safe, nurturing environment for a orphaned pet until a permanent home is found.

The vast majority of foster pets are happy, healthy animals who have been unfortunate enough to become homeless. Cats, dogs, puppies, kittens and even guinea pigs and rabbits need a safe place to stay while they are waiting to find a new family.

How long will I have my foster pet?

The time you have your foster animal varies from anything as short as a week, up to a several months depending on how long it takes to find the perfect forever home. It’s a big commitment and definitely not a job for everyone, but knowing you helped save a pet from destruction is an incredibly rewarding experience.

Won’t I be sad when my foster pet goes to their new home?

There are always a few tears shed when you wave goodbye to a foster pet. But knowing that you saved their life and that now they have found the perfect forever family, make up for the small amount of loss you will feel.

Besides, there’s always another pet who needs you!

Are you ready to become a foster carer?

There are as many different people becoming foster carers as there are pets all you need is a genuine love of animals and a willingness to help.

Becoming a foster carer – are you ready?

Fostering a dog, cat, rabbit, horse, or any other animal in need of shelter, love, and guidance can be a lot of work, but fostering is also one of the most rewarding ways to help homeless pets. Pets who are fostered in positive, nurturing environment by people willing to learn some basic training techniques are more likely to be adopted; less likely to be returned to the shelter, less likely to suffer from behavior problems, are less stressed and more able to adapt to life in their new homes.

However, the decision to foster a pet is not one to be made lightly. If you’re considering taking a foster pet into your home, first ask yourself these important questions;

Does fostering fit your household and your life?

The health and welfare of all individuals in your home – human and animal – must be considered before bringing another animal into the mix. Fostering a homeless pet should never be considered unless your home environment is happy, safe, healthy, and spacious enough to nurture the foster pet adequately. If any of your family members are contending with allergies, excessive stress, other physical or mental health issues, career instability, financial difficulties, or housing or space restrictions, fostering may not be a good option for you.

Do you have time?

Fostering a pet is a 24/7 job. Although you may not be physically interacting with the animal every second of the day, you will be responsible round the clock for the pet’s comfort, safety and well-being.

The amount of personal attention needed will vary greatly from animal to animal, but you can expect to spend anywhere from three to seven hours a day interacting with a foster pet. Even more if you’re planning to foster puppies or kittens. Providing an animal with the socialisation, exercise, positive stimulation, regular feedings, health care and training she needs to become happy, thriving, lifelong member of another family is the essence of fostering and this takes time and patience.

What kind of foster animal would be best for your family?

Like adoption, it’s important to do the research before you bring an animal into your home. You’ll need to talk to your rescue group to help them match you with a foster pet based on your home, lifestyle and experience. For instance, if your family is not very active, a young, energetic border collie probably isn’t the dog for you, but an older pet may be perfect.

Any animal considered for fostering should be healthy, fully vaccinated, behaviourally sound, and disease-free (unless you are specifically fostering ‘special needs’ animals).

From Pet Foster

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