Foster programs provide a stepping stone toward helping loving animals find "forever" homes. Whether you are thinking of easing into permanent pet adoption or simply have a heart for companion animals, follow these tips on becoming a foster pet parent to get started.
Contact local shelters and rescue groups in your area. Online resources like petfinder.org can help in your search for qualified organizations. If you have a specific breed in mind, chances are there is a rescue group dedicated to that breed. Visit adoption events to speak with current foster parents to get a firsthand account of the organization and the program offerings. Make sure you speak to the person in charge of the foster program to get the details.
Some questions to ask:
Most organizations require potential foster parents to fill out an application and attend a volunteer information session. Once your application is accepted, the chosen organization will send a representative to your home to ensure it is a healthy and positive environment for a pet. Specific qualifications vary depending on the organization and type of pet you will be fostering.
Some things to consider before applying:
As a foster pet parent, you'll be in charge of saving a pet's life by helping them find a "forever" home. The rewards that come from helping homeless pets are priceless. It is important to keep in mind that many rescued pets awaiting a home have suffered traumatic experiences and will need lots of time and TLC before they are comfortable with you or others. Additionally, some pets may suffer from health issues or have special needs that require extra attention. Make sure you know the details before taking in a pet that you will not be able to care for. It is normal for a foster parent to become attached to a pet, so ask your organization about their policies on permanent adoption for foster parents in order to avoid heartache and confusion.
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