Are You Fit to Foster a Pet? 6 Important Questions to Ask Yourself

Thinking of opening up your heart and home to an animal in need? 

Animal shelters house thousands of dogs and cats, but there are still staggering numbers of strays these facilities simply cannot accommodate without the help of foster homes. Generous foster parents open their hearts and homes to pets in need, enabling these organizations to help more animals, but fostering is not for everyone.

Is fostering a pet for me?

Ask yourself these questions to find out if you might be able to foster a needy animal?

  • Do I have the time for extra work associated with additional animals — especially orphaned, injured, sick or scared animals?
  • Will my pets react well to a foster animal?
  • Do I have space to separate the new animal until she acclimates to my home?
  • Can I emotionally let go of the animal when he gets adopted?
  • Can I afford to foster? Although some rescues pay all of the expenses, others expect the foster parent to help with the cost.
  • Does my family want to foster? Are they prepared for extra work? Do they understand that the foster animals aren’t theirs to keep and will eventually leave?

Did you answer “no” to any of the questions?

If fostering isn’t the right match for you right now, don’t worry! There are several ways you can get involved and make a difference. Consider volunteering at a rescue, assisting with adoption events, donating supplies to shelters. There are so many ways to get involved>>

Are you ready to foster a dog or cat?

Great! Check out these 7 steps to finding the right rescue group.

  1. Ask for a copy of the IRS determination letter granting the organization 501(c)(3) status, meaning that any donations you make to the organization or expenses incurred by your foster animals are tax deductible.
  2. Ask other foster parents about their experiences with the rescue group.
  3. Visit the facility to see how it cares for its animals.
  4. Talk to the organization’s veterinarian about his or her experiences with the organization.
  5. Review the group’s policies on fostering, adoption and veterinary care.
  6. Find out if someone with the group is available by phone at all times in case your foster cat gets hurt or sick.
  7. Good rescues answer your questions, and the best ones put your fostering agreement on paper in a contract so you understand your responsibilities.


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