There are many reasons why a pet may need a foster home.
A loving and caring home is all a pet needs to grow and to flourish into a beloved and trusted family member. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reports that a large wave of approximately 7.6 million companion animals make their way into animal shelters nationwide every year. With numbers like this, shelters have begun to overflow and euthanize animals to make more room or save resources. But this can all be avoided. When shelters reach capacity, most usually reach out to the community in search of foster homes for the animals.
Foster homes provide temporary care to animals that could be waiting to be adopted, recovering from a sort of medical treatment, or the shelter is just too full to properly care for the animal. Because of these reasons, you should consider fostering a pet! There are a lot of benefits when fostering a pet, such as saving an animal’s life, showing them that they are loved and you prepare them for adoption.
What kind of pets can you foster? Just go to a local shelter and find the one that is best for you, whether a chihuahua or a pig!
Foster Pet Story: Ashley & Clive
Pet Name: Clive (or Emilio Estevez)
Date of Foster: July 1, 2016
Is this your first time fostering a pet? If yes, how is your experience so far? If no, how is this experience compared to previous foster experiences?
“Yes, this is my first time fostering a cat. I am absolutely loving it. It has been fun having a kitten in the house again. His name is Clive but we didn’t find the name fitting for him. We’ve been calling him Emilio in the house- sometimes Emilio Estevez.”
How have your current pets reacted to the new foster pet? Have there been any moments of conflict or moments where they’ve come together?
“I currently have two cats. They have not taken to the foster kitten too well. They immediately ran under the bed and have stayed their distance. They like to peek out every once and a while. Once they spot him, they immediately run back under. Our 4-year old cat joined in on some playtime with toys last night.”
How was your experience in the process of getting your foster pet?
“The application process with Austin Pets Alive! was very easy. I received a call the next day to cover more details about the foster program and was given access to a message board the following day. The message board is a platform for APA staff to connect with foster volunteers.
It took a few weeks for me to find the right opportunity since I knew I was going to be out of town a few weekends. It was about a month later until I found the right kitten to foster but not for the lack of opportunities. I spent about 15 minutes at the shelter picking him up. He will be a needier cat. He has an upper respiratory infection and an arm scheduled to be amputated.”
Why did you decide to foster?
“I follow multiple local shelters on social media. I have seen their posts about needing foster parents but never thought I was a fit. I felt that my home, with two cats already, would not be ideal. Earlier this summer, I attended an event at Austin Pets Alive! and heard directly from a foster parent about what the program entails. I learned that my preconceived notions were incorrect. There’s a few extra steps to take when owning pets and being a foster, but easily manageable. They told me there was a strong need for fosters during the summer months. I immediately went home and completed the application.”
Will you continue to foster? Why or why not?
“I will definitely continue to foster. I love knowing that I can give a temporary home to a kitten. Especially one that needs lots of healing before finding a forever home!”
Would you consider adopting a foster pet? Why or why not?
“Right now two cats is enough. I enjoy the idea that I can care for a kitten without a long-term commitment. I can’t wait to see our current foster in good health and ready for adoption. Plus it stops me from spending hours watch YouTube videos on kittens. I get my entertainment in real life!”
Have you seen a change in your current foster pet since you’ve taken them into your care?
“When we first got Clive (or Emilio) just four days ago he walked dragging his bad arm. He now uses it quite a bit when walking and playing. He’s also grown quite brave. He jumps from heights that make me nervous with his weak arm!”
Any advice that you would give to people considering to foster:
“To anyone looking to foster, I would really recommend evaluating if now is the best time. Kittens require a lot of attention!”