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Overview of Fostering

New foster homes are desperately needed.  Each week many dogs and cats in the Twin Cities are euthanized… only because there is nowhere for them to go.  Rescues have to make the difficult decisions between who lives and who dies when looking at dogs in need, because they don’t have enough open foster homes to take them all.  For this reason, we have made it our mission to educate as many people as possible and encourage them to foster so that more lives can be saved.  Please consider fostering, and spread the word to every animal lover you know who may be able to take in a foster pet on a short term basis.

Fostering pays BIG TIME in loving kisses, long cuddles, and endless adventures.  One look into the eyes of your foster pet, knowing that you may very well be the only reason they are still on this earth, and your heart will be full of joy and pride.   It is an amazingly rewarding experience that can give your life purpose and fulfillment.  Just ask any other foster parent!

Fostering is a wonderful gift that you can give to animals in need.  Only by those opening their hearts and homes to an animal in need can we continue to save lives.  Fosters are an invaluable, wonderful group of people who endure all the highs and lows of pet ownership, only to let the animals they have loved so much and worked so hard for go…. so that they can help another!  They are unselfish, caring, loving, patient people and without them, the rescue system could not work.

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I am sure you have lots of questions.  Please visit our FAQ section to see detailed answers, but here is an overview of what a foster does:

 

WHAT KIND OF PETS NEED FOSTER HOMES?

ALL kinds!  Dogs, cats, puppies, kittens, birds, guinea pigs, bunnies… any animal that is kept as a pet may need a foster home if they are displaced.  It is up to you what fits best into your home, but no matter what, every foster spot open is a life saved.  Get involved!

 

WHAT DOES A FOSTER PARENT DO?

A foster parent does everything a pet owner does, but for a shorter time!  Daily care, feeding, grooming, reinforcing obedience, and generally giving the pet love and affection, along with a safe place to stay.  Foster parents are important for so many reasons.  It is foster parents who work with their rescue and sometimes trainers to get their pet ready for adoption.  It is foster parents who learn what a pet is like in a home situation, their likes and dislikes, and their little quirks – things that are impossible to tell in a shelter situation.  These things are crucial to helping a pet go into their forever home… knowing the pet and being able to communicate that to potential adopters is essential.

 

HOW LONG WILL THE FOSTER PET STAY WITH ME?

This is our most common question, and is the most difficult to answer. It can be anywhere from two months to six months, sometimes longer – there is no fixed time. Some pets go faster than others and there is really no way to of determining which one will or which one will not.  A committed foster will keep a pet as long as it takes for them to find their forever home.

 

DO I NEED TO BE HOME ALL DAY IN ORDER TO FOSTER?

Absolutely not.  Unless you are fostering a puppy or kitten who perhaps need bottle feeding, your foster should be just fine crated or contained at home during your work day – just like any other pet. We do ask fosters who have resident pets to keep everyone secure, safe and separated when they are not home to supervise pet interactions.  Never leave pets together unattended for everyone’s sake.

 

DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR EVERYTHING MYSELF?

No!  Rescues cover the costs of all medical care.  There may be small incidental expenses such as pet bowls if you don’t already have them, but your foster will usually come to your home with everything they need – collar, leash, litter box, crate…  Rescues are also usually happy to provide food if you are not in a position to swing that cost.   However, remember – all expenses associated with your foster pet, if fostered through a 501(c)3 non-profit rescue, are tax deductible!   Rescues would love to be able to pay for toys and other things for your fosters, but cannot reimburse you.  But they often get many things donated, so just check with them for whatever you need!

 

WHAT IF I BECOME TOO ATTACHED TO MY FOSTER?  WHAT IF I CAN’T LET GO?

This is the biggest fear of many people… letting go.  That is completely natural – you are fostering because you love animals, and you will probably become attached. It would be strange if you didn’t!  But when you meet the perfect family that will give the animal their permanent home, you will be happy to see them go.  That’s why you fostered in the first place!  It is a wonderful thing to do to make sure that an animal in need will find a loving home!

 

AM I ALLOWED TO ADOPT MY FOSTER PET?

Of course!   It is lovingly called “foster failure” and it happens.  Rescues understand how you can become attached, and you are always offered first choice at adopting your foster!

 

WONT IT BE HARD TO LET THEM GO?

It is completely natural to love your foster and it is never easy to let them go. All rescue volunteers understand this.  When a foster fully realizes the wonderful gift they were able to give to an animal in need as well as their new family – so excited to have them, it makes it all worthwhile!  To have opened your heart and your home, is truly an amazing experience.   Just think, when you deliver your foster to their new home you will be able to foster another animal in need.

 

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