What is pet fostering?
Fostering an animal means that a person or more than one person living in secure accommodation
who is willing to undertake long or short term care of a pet in their home. Think of it like, you are keeping your own
pet but the difference being is that the pet is not your own & the aim is to return the pet to the owner
at the end of the fostering period. It may be that a new home will eventually be found for a pet as the previous
owner for what ever reason can no longer keep their pet. While the animal is in your care, you will have to ensure you
tend to its daily needs such as providing food, water & exercise. Other needs may well include trips to the
vet & applying medication.
What experiences will a potential fosterer need & what type of environment
do you as a potential fosterer live in?
First of all, after applying to become a pet fosterer & should there be a possibility
you may be considered to be an ideal candidate, you will be contacted to make time where you will under go a home check
by the fostering organisation or a member of the RSPCA whom carry out home-checks. What will this entail? You will
be assessed on the amount of space you have in & around your home, you may be asked some questions for
example, who will be at home to care for the pet(s) & how often will there be someone at home? It is best you
as a prospective fosterer have had experience in keeping pets & to have at least some basic understanding of
their requirements. If you can provide as much evidence, this would be much in your favour as NOT all applicants pass the home check. As a pet fosterer myself,
I was able to provide evidence of my time spent at work placements such as the RSPCA, city farms & other placements
a like caring for animals over the years. This with out doubt proved very successful in my application &
it has therefore had a very positive outcome.
How will you as a fosterer benefit & how will the pet in your care benefit?
I'm sure you will find it very rewarding to know you are providing shelter,
freedom & care for the pet. Further more; you will be helping to avoid an animal being confined to an animal
shelter where they would otherwise spend much of the time in a secure kennel or other enclosures for cats
& other pets. Indeed, animals being kept in shelters receive care but, it's never the same as being at home. Being
in such shelters/enclosures can have a detrimental impact on an animal in that they may not be used to such confinement as
they are likely to feel restricted for space & their daily movement is likely to be restricted & an
animal being kept in such centres will not receive as much attention. As such shelters are often full;
your assistance by fostering is helping to provide space for animals that require being housed in such
shelters as NOT all pets are
suitable to live in a home environment for the time being. Such animals having to stay at a shelter may need rehabilitation due
to behaviour problems & or health issues where they may require special medical attention resulting in
quite often their previous back-ground. In return, the pet will give you company & affection & I'm
sure you as a fosterer will be pleased to know you are with out doubt taking a big weight of the owners minds & they
will thank you for your valuable support. It is important to remember that you as a fosterer will be required to give up your
time to fulfil such a valuable task & remember what this will entail. The fostering experience may help
you decide if you wish to take on a pet of your own & what sort of pet you want to permanently adopt.
Who will pay for the up keep of the pet?
As you are fostering & therefore undertaking this as a volunteer, the
owner or organisation will cover costs for food & other fees (vet bills if required). If you need to purchase
anything, you must keep receipts for proof of purchase then you will be refunded.
Who to contact
Many animal re-homing centres like your local RSPCA, other organisations
such as dog breed rescues often look for volunteers to foster. The Oldies Club UK are an organisation who help to rescue older dogs & although they have kennels, they to are often looking for fosterers. Other
organisations like Dogs Trust formally known as the National Canine Defence league (NCDL)
are also eager to appoint volunteers to foster dogs.