So you want to foster?

The following are some issues you should consider if you want to foster dogs for a humane society or rescue group.
Do you have the space?  If you're in an apartment, can you accommodate a small to medium sized dog?  If you can only smaller dogs, you might consider going with a breed-specific rescue that specialized in saving only ones on the scale you can provide for.
Do you have time?  Many of the fosters you get will need some degree of medical assistance, so that will likely involve several trips to the vet for follow-ups.  Some may be too young to be spayed or neutered, so that will mean a couple more trips to and from the vet.  (Note: The majority of expenses related to the vet will be covered by the foster group.)  Add to that the time involved in transporting the dogs to and from the foster group or their new home and possibly to group adoption events (e.g., the guys you see at pet shops on the weekend).  You will also have to dedicate some time initially to getting the dog housetrained and used to a new schedule (although with some dogs, this is so easy it isn't worth mentioning.

Do you get attached easily?  Some people absolutely cannot help themselves, and that's understandable.  If you didn't love dogs, you wouldn't even be considering this.  However, fostering means giving a dog a chance to find a home.  When you adopt a dog rather than fostering, you derail the process.  I love my foster dogs (some more than others, I'll admit), but I have to let them go.  Although there have been several dogs I wish to this day I would have kept for myself, that isn't part of the deal if I want to keep the cycle going.

Bottom line.  I always have the enjoyment of looking forward to taking care of new dogs in the future.  If you love variety, then this is for you.  If you can't put being part of a larger process ahead of the emotional attachment, you might be a great parent, but it is going to be difficult to be a foster parent.  Regardless, make sure you have the time and the space as well.  Fostering is a bit of everything that's great about having a dog and more, and it's also a bit of everything that's trying about having a dog... and more.


Copyright 2007 Alexplorer.
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