People who become foster pet parents save two lives when they open their homes: The dog or cat they take in, and the next pet to take its place at the shelter.
Pet overpopulation is a serious problem in the United States. Millions of healthy dogs, puppies, cats, kittens and other pets are killed in shelters every year after they’ve waited too long to find homes. Becoming a foster “parent” for a pet until it can find a permanent adoptive home saves the lives of animals that would otherwise be euthanized for no other reason than a lack of shelter space.
What is a pet foster parent?
A pet foster volunteer acts as a caretaker for a pet just like any other, making sure they are properly fed, watered, exercised, sheltered, trained and cuddled. The only difference would be that a pet foster parent knows they will someday place this dog or cat into a new home. Foster volunteers may also help pets with health issues recuperate – or live the last of their days – in a loving home instead of a sterile shelter.
Why become a pet foster parent?
Becoming a pet foster volunteer is an excellent way to make an impact on the lives of animals and ease the burden on local shelters. Foster volunteers save dogs and cats from being euthanized. They also help dogs or cats that have become “kennel crazy” after spending too much time in a shelter environment recover in a loving home. Additionally, the foster volunteer has the opportunity to work with the pet to correct any other behavior problems that may be preventing the animal from being adopted.
Who makes a good pet foster parent?
Basically, good pet foster parents are people who love animals, can provide a stable loving environment and choose to commit the effort. Knowledge of animal behavior and previous pet care experience are helpful. Devoted souls with a soft spot for senior, handicapped or otherwise special-needs pets are wanted in particular – when healthy animals have a hard time making it out of a shelter alive, foster volunteers may be unhealthy animals’ only hope. Though rescues do everything they can to find homes for pets as soon as possible, sometimes a foster commitment could last longer than expected.
Where can I be a pet foster parent?
Rules about pets may be different in each community and a potential foster volunteers may need to do a little research. Communities within the state of Minnesota may require licenses for each dog or cat, proof of vaccination or may have rules about how many pets can reside on a single property. Additionally, Minnesota law prohibits cities or counties from passing laws that regulate dangerous dogs based solely on breed, but communities outside of the state may practice breed discrimination. Please find out what pet ownership laws or rules may be in effect before committing to be a foster volunteer.
How do I become a pet foster parent?
People can become a pet foster parent by contacting a rescue that facilitates a foster program and fulfilling its application requirements. Every group handles fostering differently, but most require that applicants pass an interview, submit to a home evaluation and agree to follow guidelines for care. The rescue may require that pets live indoors and that caretakers bring the animal to adoption events. In return rescue organizations may cover costs such as food, medical care and other pet supplies. Talk to the individual rescue group to determine what is needed to be a pet foster volunteer.
When is a good time to become a pet foster parent?
Now is a good time to become a pet foster parent! Animals in need of homes are abundant and available. People who are interested in volunteering to foster an animal should contact a Minnesota humane society, animal shelter or breed rescue. Qualified volunteers will be matched with a suitable pet to foster.
The Minneapolis Animal Care & Control shelter in particular is always in need of responsible foster volunteers interested in caring for pit bulls (bully breeds) and cats. The Friends of Minneapolis Animal Care & Control Facebook Page has photos of available animals. Parties interested in fostering should consult the MACC’s list of approved rescues.
Fostering a pet is a commitment, but it’s a way to make a direct impact on enhancing animal welfare. Pet foster programs have saved countless lives and have even helped some shelters become “no-kill.” If you’re ready to make the commitment and you have the space, today is the perfect day to start the process of becoming a foster volunteer.
[Update: Two of the three dogs featured in the slideshow of this article have been rescued and are now in loving foster homes! Unfortunately, no one stepped forward for Isabella and a good dog was euthanized.]
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