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Fostering means bringing in a cat or dog — or bird, or baby pig, or any other homeless pet — with the goal of nurturing them for a while until they can be dispatched to a permanent home with a family who’ll love them forever. It’s a crucial part of the animal rescue world. Fostering is one of the biggest, yet most rewarding leaps of faith that any person can make, as well as your chance to make a huge difference to an animal’s future. Nothing will compare to seeing a once vulnerable animal develop in confidence and esteem because of your care, support and affection. Fostering and rehabilitation go hand in hand and one is seldom as successful without the support of the other. Don’t be put off fostering because you think it’ll be too hard when your foster baby gets adopted. It’s never easy to say goodbye to these beautiful souls, but seeing their happy ending makes it all worthwhile. And just when that chapter comes to an end, there is another one waiting in the wings for a chance to be saved.

We need foster families when an animal cannot be adopted immediately because they are too young, have medical or behavioral issues, or the rescue shelter is simply overcrowded. Regardless, if you open up your home to a dog, cat, bird, small pets, pig, any pet, you can feel wonderful knowing you have saved a life and cared for a pet who will soon find his or her forever home. Each organization will have their own set of requirements and paperwork for becoming a pet foster parent, so you will need to check with the  rescue shelter you want to foster for what their procedure is

Here are some FOSTER FACTS TO CONSIDER:

Even though you love kittens and your heart is in the right place, you should keep in mind the fact that a foster animal will have to be returned to the shelter or to their new family after a set upon foster time, which can be anywhere from a few days to a few months. And depending on your abilities, you might be asked to take in pets with behavior issues that require you to do behavior training or those with special needs which could mean giving medications and even physical therapy.

Research the kind of pet you are capable of fostering or would want to foster before committing. Brush up on your creature knowledge before committing to foster. It is easy to get into a comfort zone and overlook things even for seasoned foster parents and professionals.

Make sure that you have the time and facilities available as a foster pet needs constant care, you can indeed be a foster parent if you work a full time job. Most shelter animals are healthy and do not require consistent monitoring. However, you still need to have time to exercise and care for them etc.  

Prepare your family and companion animals so that the foster pet feels extra welcomed when entering his/her new environment with you.  All humans in the home need to agree to work together with a foster pet and all permanent pet residents must have vaccinations up to date to prevent the spread of diseases commonly found in a shelter environment. Creating a safe place for any pet by having stair gates, securing exposed electrical cords, keeping all chewable items out of reach, and setting up a sleeping space the foster can have all to him or herself. Obviously where applicable.

Be able to love but let go…the hardest part but the most worthwhile part at the same time. If you are hesitant to become a pet foster parent because you’re afraid of having a broken heart when you have to give them back? You are not alone! Just remember that you gave them a warm, loving temporary home while they waited for their forever family to find them. It was a rewarding experience and you saved a pet’s life! Without you they might never have had the chance or been given this opportunity to grow in love and confidence around us humans.

Contact us if you are keen on becoming a foster parent 

Be a foster parent

Email: lynda@jgmaf.co.za

Tel: 072 868 1993