Foster dog

Successfully fostering a pet is a highly rewarding experience for the foster family, the pet and the shelter or rescue organization. Countless numbers of pets are fostered each year in the United States.

Fostering provides important benefits such as:

  • Helping to rehabilitate sick or injured pets or animals that need to wean their young.
  • Providing socialization with family members, both human and animal so the pet is more accustomed to living in a home environment.
  • Helps relieve “shelter stress” for animals that are having a hard time adjusting to the shelter environment or have been in shelters for a long time.
  • Provides training for some dogs.
  • Creates space in the shelters and rescues to save more lives. 
  • Gives an animal a chance at love while waiting for its forever home.
The experts say that there are no special requirements for foster families, only the time commitment and desire to help a homeless animal. Still, there are things you need to know before you embark on a journey to become a successful foster.

“Every group has its own protocol,” says Lorna Helmig, director of clinical service for the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City. “It’s important to find out their rules and regulations.”

Once you’ve discussed fostering an animal with everyone in the household and they’re all on board, you can proceed on your remarkable journey to save lives.

Our friends at Petside walk you step-by-step through the process of fostering pets. Everything from choosing the animal you want to foster, filling out the application and interview, meeting potential candidates and finally parting ways with your foster pet.

This article was excerpted from