A few things to consider before foster pet parenting

Have you ever thought of becoming a foster pet parent?

I recently have received a few emails pertaining to this subject and the underlying need to have someone temporarily care for a companion pet while the owner is indisposed.

Fostering an animal involves providing a safe environment for a short period of time depending on the particular situation.

Most of the local animal shelters have foster pet programs that need volunteers to open their hearts and homes to a needy pet. Opportunities are plentiful, but before you commit to this exceptional program, make sure you can emotionally follow through.

Realize that your whole world will be challenged for some time, especially if you have pets. Please appreciate the adjustment your own four-legged friends must endure. Are they well-socialized, and can they accept this unwanted guest interrupting their complacency?

Just about the time you get the foster pet settled into your routine, the owner recovers, and you must relinquish your new friend. This commitment will affect you, your family and your pets so you must be prepared for this task.

Typically, fostering an animal requires being able to provide the care necessary for the particular pet. Food, water, shelter and a lot of love are usually obligatory.

Some programs may reimburse you for costs of food and supplies, but the love you provide is priceless. 

Animal shelters often have abuse cases and some pets will need assistance in overcoming socialization issues so that they can become more adoptable. Stories of the unnecessary cruelty or simple neglect that rendered some of these animals helpless should be inspiration for helping these pets overcome their problems.

If you choose to aid one of these particular cases, realize it will take an enormous amount of devotion to support them through their behavioral dilemmas. Quite often, severe issues can be resolved with time and patience. 

Economic difficulties, unwanted health issues or injuries contribute to pet abandonment. We naturally don’t wish for any of these occurrences, they just happen. Responsible pet owners should have an emergency plan in case of some unpredictable circumstance, but in reality, we try not to dwell on the unforeseen.

There is a great need for foster pet parents and those interested in volunteering for this incredibly rewarding service can contact any of the local shelters for information on how to get involved.

I also encourage you to discuss this foster pet parenting with your veterinarian as they undoubtedly have these situations come up among their clientele.

Thank you to all the kind-hearted folks who volunteer their time and energy who take in foster pets. Whether your assistance happens perchance or you are involved in some capacity in the animal industry, thank you for contributing your support to these creatures that share our lives.

Charlé Thibodeau has been passionate pet caregiver for more than 30 years. If you have a pets question you would like Thibodeau to answer in her column, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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