Are you fit to foster?
You might be a good Foster Friend if…
- You understand the Animal Rescue League’s position as an “Open Door Shelter” and can support that concept and live with its consequences. www.opendoorshelters.org/
- You’re at least 18 years old.
- If you have pets, all of their vaccinations are up to date.
- You’ve got a spare room or a location in your home where foster animals can be kept separate from your own pets, and where you can easily access and monitor your furry guest. Most foster stays are from two weeks to two months.
- You feel that you don’t already have enough to clean around the house. Foster pets have ruined drapes, carpeting, clothing, and other valuable items. Preparing your home and the area the animals will stay in can prevent most accidents, but there is always routine clean up.
- You have some free time every day to handle and care for your foster. Sure it’s great if they can have time away from the shelter, but living behind the dryer in your laundry room won’t give an animal the skills needed to become someone’s pet. If you feel you’re neglecting your own Fluffy and Fido, don’t take on any more.
- You can transport an animal back and forth to the shelter when necessary. Actually, we’d rather you didn’t take your fosters joy riding around town, but you will be responsible for their transportation needs – even if they have an emergency.
- You’ve got some spare money. We provide the medical care and can help with food and litter that has been donated to the shelter, but that supply is not always reliable. Pets are expensive, even if it’s only temporarily. We don’t want you to end up eating cat food.
- You know how to let go. It can be very difficult to let go once you have become emotionally attached to an animal! Know that the love and attention you give to these animals means that they are much more likely to find loving, permanent homes! Besides, it you can’t give them back, we can’t give you more – and that’s the whole point of foster care.
- Can you place your trust in the rescue staff to decide what is best for the animals? Before you even meet your foster pet, the staff has spent a considerable amount of time determining which animals will benefit the most from foster care. No matter how cat savvy you are or how many dogs you’ve owned, nothing beats the experience of animal care professionals who handle dozens of animals each day.
- Do you have a couple of free hours to attend an orientation at the Animal Rescue League? Some folks like to foster pets because it’s difficult for them to see animals in a shelter environment. True enough, but it is important for our foster parents, staff, and shelter volunteers to see what the others do.