BECAUSE IT SAVES LIVES!!
First off, let me explain the concept of fostering. When you foster an animal the rescue group you are working with owns the animal and you are just caring for it (as you would your own) until a suitable forever home can be found. Transportation and medical costs will always be covered by the rescue group, and depending on the situation sometimes food will be supplied too. Given those facts there really is no reason why fostering should not be a more common thing. And knowing the fact that you are saving lives is just an unbelievable added perk to the good dead you are doing.
Reputable rescue groups thrive off of fosters (and of course generous donations from the public). Without fosters the animals they save would be pulled from a shelter just to go into boarding, so essentially one kennel to another with the same limited human interaction and socialization throughout the day. They live like prisoners, in fact worse than prisoners. Sometimes animals will go an entire day without leaving their kennel left to sit in their own excrement. I know it’s easy for people to imagine boarding facilities being like a safe haven for these animals saying ‘Hey, at least they will be alive’, but in reality it is no way for any animal to live. A sad fact is that the majority of the time these animals that end up being saved and put into boarding will stay there for months, if not years, before an adopter is found. Animals need attention, love, comfort, space to run… they need a home to live in. This time stuck in boarding can be detrimental, sometimes even to the point of no repair, to their mental well-being.
Many times people prefer to adopt an animal that has lived in a foster home so they know what their personality will be like. It’s basically like someone else has done the trial run and you are given the cliff notes version of what to expect. They also know that the dog wont be hyper or high strung, both of which are unfortunate attributes dogs in boarding can develop.
This amazing adventure of ours began when we (ok, I) decided to take a risk and foster a death row dog. This is something we had absolutely no experience with, nor had ever even considered. It was a dog that I had found a posting of online and we would be depending on a rescue group that I’d never even heard of before to help guide and support us through the entire process. Red flags aside (read how it all began for more details on this), we brought Chance home and really had no idea what to expect. Zani’s was there and gave us great advice on proper introductions, training ideas, feeding suggestions… they had answers to all of our questions and were always available whenever we needed help. Zani’s is SO great about getting their animals placed quickly. They have weekly adoption events for their cats and dogs, and also do plenty of online networking to give their animals optimal exposure. Any reputable and responsible rescue group should have the same dependability, characteristics and qualities. We couldn’t have had a better support system and are so glad that they were the ones who helped us survive our first fostering experience.