Pet Rescue Stories

Misconceptions About Fostering Dogs & Cats

foster pet misconceptions

Editor’s Note: In connection with the Petco Foundation and its declaration of June as “National Foster A Pet Month” they have put together this list of the Top Misconceptions About Fostering Pets In Need.

You don’t need any special skills to foster a dog or cat. You need space in your home and love in your heart. A foster relationship could last a day, a weekend, a week a month or more. A pet who spends time in a foster home, and away from the potential stressors in a shelter will be more adoptable. You will be helping a dog or cat, puppy or kitten find his or her forever home!

Consider fostering a pet in need.

There’s always a need for foster families. When talking about fostering, animal welfare organizations often hear the same reasons why people can’t or don’t think they can foster pets.

Here are some of the most common fostering myths, debunked!

Misconceptions About Fostering Dogs & Cats

foster pet misconceptions

(Poodles to Doodles Image)

Only sick pets need foster care.

While it’s true that some pets need extra care in a home environment because of illness or injury, there are lots of pets who can benefit from a foster situation. Here are a few:

  • A baby pet who might require special needs like bottle feeding
  • A pet whom a shelter wants to know more about. A foster situation can often reveal insight into the pet’s personality in a home environment
  • A young pet who might need some one-on-one for some basic manners prior to adoption
  • A timid pet who is looking for a safe zone to explore coming out of his or her shell.
  • A senior or sick pet who needs loving hospice care

I could never be a foster….I’d keep them all!

While “foster fails” (those who keep the pet they foster) do happen, many foster families recognize the important work they are doing by giving the pet in their care an opportunity to live in a home setting. Fosters provide valuable information to the shelter about the pet’s personality and how the pet behaves with other dogs, cats, kids and more. This helps shelters place the pet in the right home! It may be hard to give them back or find them a new home….but when you do, you have the opportunity to help another pet!

Plenty of people foster so they don’t need my help.

Yes, lots of wonderful people foster animals but there are always more animals that need help! Any assistance you can provide can make the difference for an animal and the organization that is caring for him or her. There are plenty of

Photo courtesy Petco Foundation

types of pets who need foster care including senior pets and even small pets like rabbits or birds. The need is great so please consider helping!

I don’t have enough room.

Don’t let this stop you! A spare bedroom, a bathroom or a corner where you can set up or playpen or kennel is all you really need. Remember, whatever space you have at home is probably more than the pet has now!

That’s too big of a commitment!

It’s a commitment, yes. But it doesn’t have to be a huge one! While some organizations and rescues do have specific asks of fosters, many organizations would love assistance based on your time and schedule. You can offer your services as an overnight, emergency foster when the pet needs someplace safe to go quickly or you can agree to foster over a weekend or even as long as it takes to find the pet a home. Talk with your local shelter or rescue about their needs and you might be surprised how flexible fostering can be.

My pet wouldn’t like it.

You know your pet best! But you can always test it out for a day or so to see if your pet really reacts in the way you expected. You might be surprised. Also many animal welfare organizations recommend that you keep the foster pets separated from your resident pets so it might not be an issue after all.

I can’t afford it.

That’s a valid concern. But while some organizations do ask that you cover food and supplies for the pet you foster, often times the shelter, rescue or humane society will provide supplies and cover medical expenses. Check your local organizations to find one that will cover costs.

I’m not qualified.

Plenty of “regular” people are fosters. Shelter and rescue staff and volunteers are more than willing to answer questions you have or assist you, especially the first time you foster. They want to support your volunteer work as much as possible. Don’t discount the impact you can make!

Mark your calendars for Saturday June 29 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. when select Petco stores across the nation will host “Be a Foster” events. Guests will have an opportunity to learn more about foster care, what to expect when they become a foster family, the rewards of fostering and how fostering saves animal lives. Animal welfare organizations and experienced foster families will be on site to answer questions and share their experiences.

Click here to find a Petco Store near you that will be hosting a “Be A Foster” event.

The image is from Poodles to Doodles.

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