The following article was originally posted on the iheartdogs.com blog.
Reasons Why You Should Try Fostering a Dog
Most rescues don’t operate out of a facility, they are purely foster based. Shelters will utilize foster care when a dog comes in who isn’t faring well in the facility, needs a little more TLC than most, or for a hundred other reasons. Foster care is important. Organizations are always on the lookout for caring individuals who are willing to open their homes temporarily and their hearts permanently to dogs that need love and shelter.
One of the main concerns about fostering a dog is the very real possibility of becoming too attached. When the time comes for adoption, the foster parent won’t want to relinquish their charge. Nurturing an animal is an emotional investment. Hearts get stolen all too quickly by sweet, unassuming four legged creatures that just want to be loved. How could one possibly give up this treasure? It isn’t the easiest thing in the world to hand over a dog when the foster period is over. Best advice for foster families: “If you keep all of them, you won’t have room for the one who really needs you.”
Newbie Dog Owner
Not sure if dog ownership is for you? Open up the possibility by fostering a dog. Sometimes an organization needs a home short term, a few days or a week. This is a good chance for a first time dog owner to get their feet wet without too much commitment. If working with an organization that isn’t breed specific, it is also the perfect opportunity to test what breeds work well within the pack.
Still on the fence about fostering, let’s talk cost. The organization the dog comes from pays for all medical expenses including immunizations, spaying/neutering, any illness that may arise and medications to treat the illness. Several places will either supply or reimburse for food. Time, however, is for the foster to provide. Oh and snuggles, snuggles are also paid for by the foster family.
Sense of Community
A foster family is not alone, there are many families associated with each organization, and they are all in the same boat; providing a loving home to a dog without becoming too attached. There is a sense of camaraderie among foster families, and a firm system of support when it is needed. At any given time it is possible to reach out and talk to someone who’s been there and survived. Not every foster situation is ideal, some can be brutal. It helps to know there are others out there that have your back.
Fostering a dog is not a decision to make lightly, but it is one to consider carefully. Thousands of dogs are relinquished every day. Shelters are overcrowded and rescues can only take in so many. By becoming a foster, the life you save may be your own.