Have you ever been in a situation where you admire your friends’ pets and wonder if you should get one? Will you have enough time to spend? Will it work out with your lifestyle? Working in an animal rescue field, we often here that. People are not ready to adopt for a number of reasons. Many have never owned a pet before and don’t know what effect this new furry thing will have on their lives.
So how do you find out if it’s a good fit? Try before you buy – also known as fostering. I know a lot of people in the animal community are probably ready to scream at me for using that expression, and that’s really all it is – an expression. Fostering is a huge commitment to an animal, but it’s also a chance for you and your family to experience what life is like when you have a pet.
Why are animals in foster care? There is nothing wrong with them, first of all. Some animals come into the shelter and are freaked out by the sounds and smells of all the other people and animals, like sensory overload. No surprise, it happens to humans too. So often those animals go into a foster home. Some require a place to heal after surgery. And some are too young or too small to take care of themselves. Regardless, almost every animal does so much better in a home environment. One other important point – that means room for another animal in the shelter.
How long do animals stay in foster care? It could be a day, a week, a month, or longer. It all depends on timing and finding the right pet for the right person. In the meantime, you get to learn what it’s like to have a dog curl up in your lap and snore or a cat making biscuits on your chest. You get the short time commitment to make a long term positive change for one animal. And you’ll find out if owning a pet is right for you. Why not give it a try? What have you got to lose other than maybe some bed real estate?