Pets: Foster homes are ideal
Foster homes are the backbone of any animal rescue organization.
While most animal shelters have facilities that house abandoned and rescued animals, foster homes still play a crucial role in the overall structure of the shelter.
Foster homes are typically run by volunteers who open up their own homes to animals in need and provide a temporary home for these animals.
Foster homes are an important part of any rescue organization because they provide temporary homes for animals in need.
Foster homes are also key in the care of young animals.
Katie’s Place foster homes take in kittens that need to be hand fed or socialized. They take over the role of the mother if the infant is orphaned.
Some foster families get up every two hours to hand feed tiny kittens who have lost their mother. It would be impossible to provide this sort of care in a shelter environment.
Kittens are susceptible to viruses and would most likely not survive in a shelter, plus it would be nearly impossible to have a volunteer attend the shelter every two hours to feed the kittens.
Foster homes are also ideal places for feral or semi-feral youngsters that need socialization.
We have several foster homes on stand-by to take in any kittens that were born to a feral mom and will need time and patience to accept humans. Without these foster homes, many kittens would simply not come around and, thus, would be unadoptable and would, most likely, spend their entire lives in the shelter.
Senior animals also benefit from foster homes. Senior animals tend to have a much harder time adjusting to the shelter environment. Many seniors who find themselves in a shelter stop eating or succumb to a virus. They are at a point in their life where they need peace and quiet and the shelter offers neither of those.
A foster home can provide the seniors with a stable home environment until a permanent home is found.
Losing a home is difficult for any animal, and if they are able to go from their home into another one, completely bypassing the shelter, the disruption to their life is minimized.
Most senior cats only need a soft chair to sit on, and a sunny window sill to stretch out on, and a foster home can provide both of those.
Foster homes are also crucial for animals who are injured and recuperating or animals with medical needs.
Shelters are busy places, usually housing hundreds of animals. It is difficult to try and care for an animal that has medical needs which require constant observation, or medication that has to be given several times a day.
A foster family is better equipped to watch such an animal in the comfort of their own home. A quiet home, away from the craziness of the shelter, is the best place for a sick or injured animal to recuperate. Like humans, sick animals heal better in a peaceful and quiet environment where stress is kept to a minimum.
There is also the option of being a permanent foster. This is a foster home that takes on the animal on a permanent basis without actually adopting them. This is the ideal situation for old animals or animals with ongoing medical issues. The foster family provides a safe and loving environment for the needy animal and the shelter covers the vet costs. The animal would cost the shelter anyway, but in this arrangement the animal is in a home not at the shelter. It’s a win-win situation.
There are many animals in foster homes at this minute, thriving, socializing, and getting better. Foster homes don’t need to be big or fancy. They just need to have a loving human who will care for the animal on a temporary basis, and a strong human who will let that animal go into a forever home when the animal is ready. It is not an easy job and sometimes foster homes turn into the forever homes. Sometimes, despite the best efforts of the foster parents, the animal dies.
Sometimes tears are shed and sometimes a carpet is destroyed. But for the most part, foster homes save the lives of animals who may not have had a chance anywhere else.
– by Magdalena Romanow, a volunteer at Katie's Place animal shelter.