Are You Ready to Foster?

Answer these questions to find out if fostering a homeless pet is something you can do.

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Foster home coordinator Amber King of Pawmetto Lifeline, an animal rescue organization in Columbia, S.C., says if you have the ability to provide safe shelter to an animal and can commit a little time to fostering, then you are ready to foster.

“Whatever your availability,” she says, “there is a way you can help.”

The more experience you gain, the more you will recognize your strengths and be able to choose foster animals who are a good fit — like a low-maintenance, healthy adult dog or a young puppy who needs around-the-clock care. Healthy older animals don’t require a lot of work, for instance.

You might be ready to foster if you answer “yes” to the following questions:

•  Is your family on board with your desire to foster an animal?
•  Do you have time and space for another animal?
•  Do you have space to separate a foster animal if needed, like in a crate or an extra room?
•  Can you transport an animal to the vet if care is needed? Some rescue organizations cover veterinary care costs; others do not.
•  Can you supply food and other supplies? Vet care fees, food and supply costs are covered by some rescue organizations.

If you answered yes to these questions, contact your local animal shelter or rescue group and volunteer to foster a pet.

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Kitson Jazynka

Kitson Jazynka has been writing for dog, horse and children’s magazines for 20 years. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, their two boys, a German Shepherd Dog named Rex, and a very tolerant cat. She has volunteered for cat rescue and horse rescue organizations, and also writes children’s books and magazine articles about animals and wildlife rescue for National Geographic Kids.

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