Did you know that May is National Foster Care Month? Many of our patients are former foster pets! Fostering fills a crucial gap for pets that need growth, healing, training, and/or socialization before they are ready for adoption. If you’re an animal lover, you may want to consider fostering. It can be a very fulfilling, educational, and rewarding experience. Of course, this isn’t going to be right for everyone. A vet lists a few things to consider before moving forward below.
You don’t need a formal education to foster animals. However, it’s best to have experience with animals, so you have a basic understanding about their general behavior and care needs. Most likely, you’ll also go through some training and onboarding. Some shelters also require home inspections. Talk to your local shelters to find out more.
One thing to consider is whether you have enough space for your furry wards. If you have children and/or other pets, you’ll need to be able to keep your foster charges in separate rooms.
You’ll also want to think about your financial situation. Some shelters will provide all or some food and supplies, but not all of them have the resources for that. You may have some out-of-pocket costs for things like food, supplies, bedding, toys, treats, and veterinary care. These can add up quickly!
It can be bittersweet to see a pet you’ve cared for going off to their forever home. Understandably, many people find it difficult to say goodbye to pets they have bonded with … hence the term ‘foster fails.’ Foster fails are what happens when people get so attached to their fosters that they end up adopting them. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as of course the entire point is to find that pet a loving home. However, if you think this would be too hard for you, maybe try volunteering instead.
There’s no set turnaround time for fostering, as it’s hard to say when a pet will be adopted or ready to be brought to the shelter for adoption. With young animals, this may happen when they’re old enough to stay in the shelter overnight. Or, it might be dependent on healing, growth, socialization, or even available space. Consider your schedule, flexibility, and upcoming plans.
As your animal clinic, we’re dedicated to offering great care. Contact us, your local animal clinic in North Miami Beach, FL!