The benefits of having a pet are immeasurable: companionship, feeling of safety, reduced risk of depression, reduced risk of heart disease, and oftentimes, a great source of amusement. Not every one is in the position to adopt a pet, though.
Whether you are on a strict budget, you travel frequently, or you just don’t know what kind of pet you want, taking the step of adoption is a commitment that isn’t right for every one. Fortunately, fostering a pet provides all the benefits of having a pet without the long time commitment of adoption.
Why Fostering Helps
Statistics from the Humane Society estimate that approximately 2.7 million healthy, adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized in animal shelters each year across the United States. A number of factors contribute to this number, but a main one is a failure to spay and neuter these animals.
Too many strays are still intact and continue to breed even though there is not enough food, shelter, and space to house them all. Sadly, many of them die every year because of the lack of space. There is a way to help address this issue, though, and animal rescues across the country are constantly doing so by helping promote spay and neuter programs and rescuing homeless animals. Fostering pets saves lives and provides both the human and the pet with benefits they wouldn’t be able to attain without fostering.
Fostering essentially means you are taking care of an animal for a temporary period of time. Usually, an animal remains in the same foster home until he or she is adopted, but it can vary depending on the situation. Many rescue organizations rely on foster homes to help continue their work of saving animals.
What do Fosters Do?
Pet foster parents take care of the dog, cat, or whatever animal it may be once it has been rescued from the shelter. This way, the animal can be socialized before it gets adopted, which increases the chances of a successful adoption and makes for a happier pet, too.
Fostering provides that animal the chance to learn housebreaking, crate training, basic manners and obedience, and even tricks before it goes into its adoptive home. It also provides a safe space and environment for the animal, so he or she feels comfortable and is able to experience the good life out of the shelter.
For foster parents, the situation is often a win-win. Adopting an animal can be expensive, but fostering, especially if you work with a local rescue organization, is typically free or costs very little. The rescue organization usually covers all the veterinary and food costs, leaving the foster parent to buy any toys if they want. So, the foster parent gets all the benefits of living with an animal without having to handle the financial expenses. For some people, especially college students and younger people, this can provide the perfect situation. You still need time to devote to the foster animal, but there is little to no financial burden.
Besides the benefits that the human and pet reap from the foster situation, rescuing that animal from the shelter also makes room for a new animal to be taken in by animal control. That means every animal that is living in a foster home equates to another life saved in the shelter.
If you are able, consider fostering with a local rescue organization in your area. Fostering pets provides a wonderful opportunity to help not only enrich your life with various pets whenever you have the time, but the opportunity to save the lives of more innocent animals, too.