Fostering animals is pretty much the best. My boys love animals and are always asking for more pets…but I was hesitant, anticipating that when the excitement wore off, mom would be left with the majority of the responsibility. Fostering has been great for our family because the kids get excited each time we get a new placement, and they’re helpful and curious as the animals rotate through our home to their forever home. We’ve been a pet foster family for over a year now.
Any Family Can Foster Pets
You don’t have to have a huge house, spacious yard, or a big budget to foster an animal. Space is so tight at the animal shelter and these sweet cats and dogs (and goats and bunnies!) are just looking for a soft, warm, and loving place to hang out until they find their forever families. Whatever you can offer, especially attention, will be more than they had in their crate at the shelter.
It’s Not Expensive
Most shelters pay for all medical and sometimes food, so there is not a huge out of pocket expense to the foster family. You will need to provide the basics: bowls, litter pan, pet bed, leash. No need to be experienced in pet training or have loads of free time either – the shelter will match you to a pet that is just your speed.
You’re Not Alone
The shelter we worked with (APA!) had a team of employees, volunteers, vets, neonatal-specialists, pet-sitters, etc. who were constantly checking in on our foster placements. They were quick to answer any questions that came up from medical to behavioral. The shelter is ultimately in charge of finding the foster pets a forever home and did all the advertising and communication to get our fosters adopted – all I had to do was send in pictures and answer personality questions about the fur babies.
Your Kids Learn to Take Care of Animals
Families with kids are great for foster pets because the shelter animals have a better chance of getting adopted if they’ve been around children. I’ve found kids and kittens are an especially great match (energetic and playful)! My boys learned a lot about taking care of animals when we had a kitty who needed eye drops, or meds, or the newborns who had to be weighed regularly.
There’s a Huge Need
Austin does not allow euthanasia, but many of the surrounding Texas counties still do – sad, I know!! Each time we chose a foster, we took in a kitty that was on a “deadline” from out of town. We will never know their back stories, but I can say these are some of the nicest, cutest, sweetest kitties who just need a temporary family to say “yes” to buy them some time to find their forever match. There are so many stories like this for dogs and cats in difficult situations – your family really can make a difference!
It’s Super Rewarding
Ultimately, we foster because we love having animals around and we know we’re helping a pet find their forever family. Don’t put off fostering because you think it will be too hard when the animal gets adopted – fostering is such an important step in the process and my kids have learned that they are making a difference. It’s really special to know our fosters go on to become someone’s beloved pet! And if you do meet a furry friend you can’t live without, you can always adopt the animal yourself:)
Shelters In the Austin Area
- Austin Pets Alive! https://www.austinpetsalive.org/foster
- Paws Shelter of Central Texas https://pawsshelter.org/volunteer/foster/
- New Hope Animal Rescue https://nhanimalrescue.org/foster-information/
Have you considered fostering a pet?
Did you know you can be a pet foster that just babysits?