9 Things to Consider Before You Foster a Dog or Cat

Do you have time to take this animal to weekend adoption events? Some rescue groups post pets online and take applications for them, but others hold regular adoption events at local pet supply stores or other venues. You may need to take your foster pet to those events until she’s adopted, which means looking carefully at your weekend schedule.

Are you prepared for a long-term commitment? A foster animal may need a place for only a few weeks, or his stay could stretch out for months. There’s no guarantee that a foster animal will be adopted within a certain time frame, but until he's adopted, he needs a home. Be sure you can commit before you accept a foster pet.

Is the organization run in a professional manner? You should expect phone calls to be answered or returned promptly and veterinary expenses to be covered by the organization. In addition, the adoption organization should be in contact frequently and should make every effort to find the animal(s) a permanent home.

When the time comes, will you be able to give up your foster pet to an adoptive home? It’s all too easy to become attached to this little creature who is living in your house. People who end up adopting their foster pets are known affectionately as “foster failures.” Some rescue groups are OK with that, while others frown on it because it often means that you’re no longer available as a foster home for future animals. If you're not sure you will be able to say goodbye, think twice about fostering.

Fostering pets has its ups and downs, and you will likely cry when your foster pet walks out the door for the last time — but the rewards of seeing him blossom and watching a new family fall in love with him will have you signing up to do it all over again.


Join the Conversation

Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!