Could you be a Foster parent?
Fostering a dog has many benefits for both the foster parent and the animal.
Bringing a foster dog home immediately frees up cage space at an animal shelter, which means more animals can be saved.
Getting a dog out of a shelter environment removes the animal from a stressful, noisy environment, where they are isolated in a cage-and puts them in an environment where they can relax more and interact with people and other animals. It is much easier to get a good assessment of the animal's personality in a foster home environment. Some animals just do not do well in a shelter.
Shelter animals who come from an abusive background or who are scared in the shelter tend to be much more relaxed in a foster home. They can learn to trust while in foster care and become more social. You will be able to find out all the personality traits of a pet - Is he potty trained? Does he like to fetch? Does he like kids or other animals. What are his little quirks and idiosyncrasies? Does he like to chat......Bark?
Foster parents can provide potential adopters with much more information than if the animal was left in a shelter. Getting out of a shelter can remove the animal from possible health risks, especially contagious airborne infections like an upper respiratory infection, i.e., kennel cough. Some people shy away from fostering because they fear getting too attached to the animal.
It can be a very emotional experience when the pet gets adopted and goes on to it's permanent home, especially the first time that you foster an animal. I have found that this gets easier as you foster more animals. As a foster parent, you will most likely be involved in the adoption process. A lot of the emotional issues are relieved when you meet the adopters and you know that the dog or cat is going to a good home. Adopters are usually more than happy to share their email address or phone number with the foster parent and let the foster know how the newly adopted pet is doing. Some will send letters and pictures.
Some things to consider before you bring a foster dog into your home: Do you have other animals in your house? How will they react to a new animal coming in to the household?
It's a good idea to take preventative measures to protect your pet's health before bringing the foster animal into your home. Are your animals current on their vaccinations? Most dogs will also need a Bordatella vaccine to protect them from kennel cough, upper respiratory infections that is very common in shelter animals. Talk to your veterinarian before fostering. You will need to introduce your pet to the foster dog or cat as you would any new pet that comes into your household.
Some pets become very accustomed to new animals coming into the house from time to time-new animals don't phase them at all. Some animals need a more gradual introduction. Do you have children? This is a big consideration. Of course, you have to consider safety. Get as much information as you can about the foster animals temperament. Sit down and discuss being a foster parent with your children. You will need to remind them that you are only fostering the dog or cat and not adopting it. Remind them that it will be will hard for them the first few times that an animal goes on to it's permanent adoptive home. Of course it depends on each individual child, the child's age and other factors. But, with honest, open communication, most children understand that they are doing a good thing by fostering.
And, as soon as an animal gets adopted, many kids can't wait to get to the shelter to get their next foster dog or cat. Foster care usually costs the foster parent nothing financially. Most shelters will provide food and other necessities. Foster care can be very rewarding. If well thought out it is a win-win situation for the animal, foster parent, and shelter/rescue group.
Most shelters are in desperate need of foster homes. They will be more than happy to address any other questions or concerns that you might have.
Please contact rescues directly or closest to your home address.