A few weeks ago I ended my blog by introducing Sammy, our newest foster. As fate would have it, he didn't remain a foster - we adopted him. It's a long story, but essentially he picked us. He was adopted and then returned through no fault of his own, and once he came back to us he made it clear he did not ever want to leave. Sammy is fitting in great with our pack. He's sweet, good with our cats, and really likes our dogs too. While this is great for us, it means that the fostering world is down a foster home, at least for now.
We plan to return to fostering once we get everyone fully settled in. In the mean time, I want to do everything I can to raise awareness of the need for foster homes. Foster homes save lives - they save the dog or cat they foster, and they save the dog or cat who takes the shelter spot of the newly fostered animal.
Foster families also help dogs be better family pets. Fosters teach housebreaking (it's not as hard as you think), they teach dogs how to walk nicely on a leash (also not as hard as you think), and they teach basic manners and commands -- but most importantly, fosters provide love.
The most common reason I hear as to why people don't foster is that they won't be able to give the dog or cat up to an adopter. While this can be a very real feeling, it is not a deal breaker. Most rescues and shelters work with adopters who want to keep fosters (they may try to talk you out of wanting to adopt your foster, but the good ones will work with you if you work with them). Just remember, when you foster and your foster gets adopted, it's great for everyone. You gain experience with dogs, the dog gets a great forever home, the adopter gets a new best friend, and you get to do it all over again and save 2 more lives. It really is a win-win-win-win :)
February is Foster Awareness month for Pepper's Paws - please share your stories and experiences with us, anecdotes, advice, anything you think will help people understand why fostering is so important and help them make the decision to become a foster family! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org