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The Importance of Fostering Dogs and Cats

Fostering
  • 12 July 2017
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Each year, over 7.5 million pets enter shelters across the United States. Not only is that an incredibly high number, but it’s also one that’s very sad. Given this huge volume, it’s easy to understand why most shelters are quite strained with their resources. Although that’s unfortunately a problem that looks like it won’t be solved any time soon, the good news is there is currently a system in place to help relieve the heavy burden that most shelters face. That system is fostering. Fostering dogs and cats takes two primary forms. The first is foster-based rescue organizations.

When a shelter has an influx of more animals than it can handle, this type of organization can take some of those animals and help find adoptive homes for them. The other form fostering dogs and cats can take is through the efforts of individuals. Since fostering dogs, cats or both types of animals can be a very rewarding experience, we want to share some more about what you can expect if you decide to take on this role.

Experiencing a Happy Home

One of the biggest benefits of individual fostering is it provides animals with a chance to experience living in a happy home. Plenty of animals come from a situation like a mill, existing as a stray or being forced to only live outside. Additionally, dogs and cats can come from home situations that are far from ideal. By living in a home with a loving foster family, a pet can learn what it’s like to get positive attention on a daily basis. This experience can also help them get used to the normal sounds, smells and routines of a household.

Overcoming Fear and Shyness

Animals that come from a tough background may shut down emotionally. This may be a necessity for them to make it through very challenging conditions. Pets can also carry a lot of stress or anxiety with them. With individual fostering, pets are able to go into a situation where they can feel relaxed and let their guard down. Even if a pet is initially quite fearful or shy, being able to gradually socialize in a nurturing environment is a great way for an animal to build trust.

Taking the Next Step

If you’re interested in helping dogs or cats in need by providing foster care, you can contact any local Cincy shelter to learn more about their process for stepping into this role. As far as what you’ll want to do in terms of prepping your home, the most important element is having a quiet space where a foster pet can get used to your house. Combine that with a supply of quality pet food, and you’ll be ready to start changing the lives of pets in need!