Become a Foster Pet Parent

I, Sadie, personally think one of the greatest ways to begin the New Year, (putting aside all those resolutions you will not keep,) is to become a Foster Pet Parent. Dogs and cats too, of course, need looking after as there are some people that do not think caring for pets is an important job.

Many people look upon pets as a throwaway item, things to be discarded and left to fend for themselves or taken to a shelter and left for whatever fate has in store for them. Foster parenting is a gift that humans can give to pets and the reward to the foster parents is priceless.

What is a foster pet parent? Foster pet parents provide a temporary home for animals prior to their adoption to forever homes. If you love animals and find that due to your lifestyle you cannot keep a forever animal, but have periods of time when you are available to care for a cat or dog. I, Sadie say do it now

What are the benefits of fostering a pet? As a dog, I can tell you there are many benefits, but for now I will just give you just a few.

  • Fostering a pet may keep if from being euthanized if the shelter is full at the time the pet is brought in.
  • Some dogs and especially cats do not do well in a shelter environment or they just might need a little extra special loving.
  • Newborn puppies and kittens may need to be hand fed and raised for the first few weeks of their lives. There is no better feeling than knowing you have raised a puppy or kitten to go on to a new and happy life in a forever home.
  • Some pets are recovering from an illness or surgery and need more time and some special care while they are getting better.

    How much of your time will it take? It will take, as much time as you want to give, as there is always a need. But being serious for a moment, it depends on the need of the animal in question and the best thing to do is go to your local animal shelter or rescue group and talk to them. Tell them the time you have available and what you are willing to do.

    Some pets, like newborn puppies and kittens, need a few weeks of constant care and then they can be returned to the shelter for adoption. Pets recovering from surgery or an illness may require a few weeks of less intense caring. While some animals need extra loving care to get over being frightened and mistreated.

    It all depends on you and the individual situation. However, from my point of view, even spending a week or two in a loving environment can do wonders for a mistreated pet and you can be saving a life.

    Do you need any special skills? I know from personal experience that a loving heart and gentle hands is the first most important requirement, and that most shelters and groups will train you, if any special skills are required.

    What else do you need? I, being a most fortunate dog, have never had a shelter experience. But I know each shelter or group may have their own requirements, such as a fenced in yard, you may need to isolate your pets from the foster pet or you may need to give medications to your charge.

    What about food, medication and treatment for the foster pet? Most shelters will provide food and all the medical requirements the pet will need. I suggest that you need to discuss with the shelter or rescue group exactly what they will cover and have an agreement drawn up. It is a procedure the groups that foster pets out usually follow and they will also request you use their specific veterinarians.

    Now that you are excited about trying to be a foster pet parent, how do you go about learning more? It is really fairly simple, just contact your local humane society, animal shelter, rescue group or visit the No More Homeless Pets resource library at

    In my way of thinking the best way to start the New Year, is by considering the opportunity of being a foster pet parent. You will be doing so much good that it will not matter if you do not live up to all your resolutions for the coming year.

    This is from a dog’s point of view, but I cannot think of a better way to say Happy New Year.



    Drs. Foster and Smith Inc.