“Fostering an animal is not a lifetime commitment, it is a commitment to saving a life.”

This is the watchword of rescue groups everywhere.

To foster an animal, whether a dog or a cat is, quite simply, to save that animal’s life. A foster home provides that same animal with a safe, temporary place of refuge until he/she is ultimately placed in a permanent, adoptive home.

Like most rescues, we rely on a network of dedicated, volunteer foster homes, and couldn’t survive without them. And we NEVER have enough of them! Why? Because there are more dogs and cats in need than there are foster homes available to meet that need.

There are many benefits to fostering, many pleasant surprises and many unexpected rewards. Foster parents, past and present, describe it as one of the most memorable and gratifying experiences of their lives.

Fostering is a way of enriching the lives of the animals and people involved, and a constructive way for people to give back to their communities. Fostered animals can provide hours of entertainment and love for their humans, and provide valuable life lessons for adults and children alike.

By taking needy animals into their homes, fosters increase their chances of being adopted. They have the time and the ability to transform them by one-on-one contact, exercise and training into happy and well mannered companion pets any person or family would be proud to call their own.

Fosters are the essential eyes and ears of rescue. By spending every day with these animals, they learn all they can about their particular personalities. They will also be able to identify any behavioral issues that need addressing.

Fosters provide them with stable environments, coupled with love, attention and affection, while we provide everything else, including payment of all medical costs to ensure each animal’s ongoing health and wellbeing.

If fosters already have others pets in residence, all the better. The more animals their foster meets, the more socialized he/she will become, the more easily he/she will handle stress, and the more relaxed he/she will be around strangers.

For those who have never owned a pet, fostering an animal provides them with the unique opportunity of seeing if they themselves are suited for permanent “pet parenthood.”

Fostering, however, is NOT a form of “trial adoption” for that particular animal. There is even a term for it: foster failure. The most successful fosters are those who, despite being emotionally invested, know they’re a stepping stone towards their foster animal’s future. And that as one successfully fostered animal leaves their home, another needy animal is waiting to enter it.

Ultimately, then, fostering an animal saves not just one life, but two.

– Courtesy of Nomi Berger