When people say, "I couldn't foster because it would be too hard to give a dog up" we say "How can it be harder than knowing a dog died because no foster stepped up?"
Fostering a pet can seem like a big undertaking, but it is one of the most rewarding ways to make a difference in an abandoned or abused pet's life.
NB PAWS would not exist if it were not for our foster homes and dedicated volunteers. Fostering can be a very rewarding experience for everyone involved, but it does require patience and work.
We try to find the best foster home for our animals, as well as find the right animal for you and your lifestyle. **Note - we provide all veterinary costs, medications, dog beds, leashes, collars, etc. Fosters only need to provide a safe loving home!
Fostering is the most direct way to help an animal; you are giving it a second chance at life.
Hundreds of dogs and cats come to us each year. Whatever you want, we will have an animal that is just right for you.
Fostering costs next to nothing. All animals that are old enough are altered before leaving the shelter, and all are given routine vaccinations. We provide all medications and veterinary care.
You may want to foster a dog with a trainable behavior issue such as jumping up, mouthing or food guarding or a cat that is afraid and hides at the back of her cage. Dogs, in particular, have more confidence when they have skills such as knowing how to sit and walk on a leash. Having these skills also makes them more adoptable.
The shelter can be a stressful place, taking a foster into your home can speed up the healing process for an animal with a mild infection or one that is recovering from an injury.
Everyone benefits from fostering. The foster home gets to help a special and deserving animal, meaning one less dog or cat has to die. When that animal is fostered, the shelter can make space for a new animal that needs to be taken in. The foster pet gets a break from kennel life and a second chance.
Most dogs, especially, do not do well in a shelter environment and their true personalities are overshadowed by the stress, fear and anxiety that they experience being abandoned, locked in a cage and surrounded by other frightened and agitated dogs. When potential adopters visit, they see a depressed, shy or frightened animal that barks or backs into a corner when they would otherwise be happy and social in a non-shelter environment.
And finally, the new owners get a dog that is better adapted to home life, with a better chance of staying in its "forever" home.
Some dogs are prime candidates for foster homes. They may be overlooked at the shelter because they are too shy, nervous or ordinary. Most dogs that sit in shelters are past the "cute" puppy stage, but given time and some basic training, these dogs that might otherwise continue to be overlooked can find permanent, loving homes.
The role of a foster home includes day-to-day care such as feeding, grooming and exercise. Like with any other dog, a foster parent may have to enforce basic training like housetraining, walking on leash, sit, down or behavior modification to correct problems such as jumping, mouthing, barking etc. Fosters are asked to help with socialization and medical care like dispensing medication, taking the dog to vet appointments and of course plenty of playtime and snuggling.
Just picture the type of dog YOU would want to adopt...a foster parent helps their rescued dog get to that point! But not all foster dogs require that degree of help, some are perfectly adoptable right from the get-go and just need a safe and loving home until their new owners find them.