Most shelters are overflowing with amazing adoptable pets and fostering an animal is a crucial part of our animal welfare organizations. At any given time, our organization can have hundreds of animals within our foster program.
The demand is always there. However, when talking about fostering, we often hear many of the same reasons as to why people don’t become fosters. Today, we are here to dispel some of the common myths and show how easy and rewarding becoming an animal foster can be.
Myth 1: I might get attached
Yes, you may get attached to your foster pet, but no matter how difficult it is to bring your animal back to the shelter you know that in the long run you are helping to save a life. When you take a foster animal into your home it gives the shelter room to help other animals. It also allows the shelter to learn more about an animal’s personality and see how they act in a home environment. With this added information we are able to understand more about the animal and find a forever home that fits perfectly with that certain animal’s needs.
Myth 2: There are plenty of other foster homes. Someone else will say yes.
Sadly, in our community there are far more animals in need than there are fosters to help. The need for fosters is always great and we have many types of animals that need care including dogs, cats, rabbits, birds and much more. At our shelter, we have lots of people who will take kittens and puppies, but few who will take adults and even fewer who will take sick or injured animals. With the need being so great for fosters, every person is needed!
Myth 3: I can’t afford to take another animal
One of the perks to fostering is that you have the support of the shelter. With fosters in our program, the shelter tries to support you at all times. This means we pay for all medical expenses and help to provide supplies and food for our foster families.
Myth 4: I don’t have the space
Space is not typically an issue when it comes to fostering a pet. All it takes is a small spare bedroom or office, a bathroom or even a corner where you can set up a playpen cage, which you can borrow from the Humane Society. While we do need foster cats to stay separate from your owned cats, it doesn’t take much space to do that. Remember, whatever space you have at home is probably more than the animal has at the shelter now.
Myth 5: A shelter pet may get my pets sick
Some of our wonderful fosters choose to take in animals that are sick or healing from an injury. This special one-on-one attention benefits the animal so much and can help them rehabilitate. However, if there are other animals in your home we have a few basic tips that can help keep your owned pets safe including basic health protocols such as washing your hands between handling animals and wearing an overshirt when handling the foster animals. We also recommend that a sick animal should be kept in a separate room and bedding and clothing should be washed with bleach after use. Fosters are not given special-needs animals unless they specifically are trained and feel comfortable caring for this type of animal. Our foster coordinator can work closely with you to ensure all animals stay healthy and safe.
Myth 6: My pets won’t tolerate a foster pet
Yes, your pets will know the second you bring another animal into the home, but if you have a separate room to keep your foster pets their interaction won’t be a problem. Your pets may be upset at first, but usually they get over it pretty quickly. Just make sure and give as much love to your owned pets as you do your foster pets and everyone will be happy.
Myth 7: I already have a foster animal
Well, if you are already fostering animals, congrats! Way to go! You are making a difference! If you are already fostering an animal you are already impacting a life, by why stop at one. The more animals you are comfortable in helping, the greater impact you will make!
Help the Foster Program at HSGD!
Fostering a pet is an extremely rewarding way to volunteer and directly help care for animals at your local shelter. This is a perfect opportunity for someone who is looking for a short-term commitment to care for animals. For more information on becoming a foster for the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, contact Mandy Johnson at (937) 262-5937 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have a question for Brian? E-mail him at AskBrian@hsdayton.org. Brian Weltge is the President and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. The Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building loving relationships between people and pets. Founded 113 years ago, it is the largest and most established no-kill animal welfare agency in the area. It focuses on pet adoptions, eliminating pet overpopulation, providing education and ensuring the humane treatment of animals. For more information about the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, call 937-268-PETS (7387) or visit www.hsdayton.org.