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Old 02-27-2009, 08:57 AM
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Default The importance of fostering

Hi forummers! Here's an article about animal fostering and why its such an important resource for animal welfare . I hope this encourages more people to foster if they haven't already started, and for those who do, keep it up!! don't stop!! read on and enjoy!

Article from http://www.geocities.com/~nyca/foster.html

by, Patty Adjamine (New Yorkers for Companion Animals)

Why Foster?

Often those in rescue and shelter work are asked the question, "How can I help animals? Do you need people to play with cats or dogs?"

We don't need people to "play" with animals as much as we need responsible and caring individuals willing to foster a homeless cat or dog in the home. Why the need for "in home" fosters?

Most of the cats and dogs "euthanized" in our animal shelters are destroyed for simple lack of space and a place to go. The fact is, we have far, far more animals given up, abandoned, lost, strayed or left homeless because some dire circumstance has occurred to the past guardian (illness, eviction, arrest, going into a nursing home or death) than what we have immediate adoptive homes for. The result of this lopsided equation is that each day, approximately, 100 cats and dogs are destroyed in our New York City animal pounds. Many if not most of these animals are "adoptable" with a little time and safe sanctuary until a permanent home can be found. Unfortunately, "time" and "safe sanctuary" are luxuries our city shelters and rescue groups cannot afford for the more than 50,000 animals that enter city pounds each year.

What is Foster Care?

Fostering means temporarily care of an animal in home until the cat or dog can be placed. It is the responsibility of the shelter or rescue group to actively advertise and search for a permanent adoptive home for the fostered pet. Shelters and rescue groups are responsible for any medical care the animal might need. Fosters usually pay for pet food and litter. It is preferable that most foster homes be somewhat local to the attending shelter or rescue group. This facilitates expedient placement of the pet.

How Much Time is Involved in Fostering a Pet?

This varies greatly depending upon the type of pet being fostered and whether that animal is "readily adoptable." There are "Long-term fosters" (up to six months) and "Short Term Fosters" (usually less than or about a month).

What is a "Long-term Foster?"

Long term fosters are those animals who are not immediately "adoptable." A mother cat with a newborn litter of kittens for example would require at least three months in foster for all animals to be adopted out. Kittens who are too young for adoption or not yet properly socialized usually require a month or two in foster before they can be placed. Sometimes an animal may have a temporary medical condition (such as kennel cough, recovering from surgery or poor condition due to past neglect) in which case, fostering is needed until the animal recovers or gains full health and vitality.

What is Short-term Foster?

Short term fosters are for those animals who are immediately adoptable and/or highly "desirable." Examples of these are small and purebred dogs, kittens and young, purebred or declawed cats. Foster care of these animals is usually less than a month. Larger dogs, even when otherwise "perfect" usually require several months in foster care.

What If I "Fall in Love" with a Foster Animal?

One of the great advantages of fostering a pet is that the foster person usually has "first option to adopt." Fostering can thus provide an excellent opportunity for those seeking to adopt a highly desirable "small dog" or other pet that enjoys public popularity. One must realize that if deciding to adopt a foster pet, the shelter or rescue group reserves the right to approve the adoption and to proceed with normal protocols for adoption, such as contracts and adoption fees.

What If I Am Unable to Fulfill Foster Commitment?

Most rescue groups and shelters have back-up emergency plans if a foster does not work out (such as boarding the animal). However, as boarding is very expensive, rescue groups need people to be serious about fostering. It is not something to be taken lightly. It is always best to let the rescue group or shelter know of any anticipated trips, moves or limitations on fostering so that other arrangements can be made in advance if the animal does not yet have an adoption possibility.

Can I Choose Which Animal to Foster?

In some cases, yes and in other cases, the rescue groups needs people for specific animals. This is something to discuss with the individual rescue group or shelter.

What are the Requirements for Foster?

Mostly, people who are responsible, knowledgeable and caring towards animals and have a sincere desire to help save lives. Obviously, a safe environment is a must, a "pet friendly" building and support from any other members in the home.

What if I have Pets of My Own Already in my Home?

Because most rescue groups and shelters cannot guarantee compatibility between animals and also because an animal coming directly out of a shelter may have a cold due to crowded shelter conditions, it is always best to isolate the foster animal from pets already in the home. If the foster animal is healthy and introductions are done slowly and carefully, usually after some days the animals can be together.

What's Are The Advantages of Fostering?

As mentioned previously, fosters almost always have first option to adopt. As such, fostering can be a good way of "testing" whether one is truly ready or not for the permanent commitment of adoption. Foster is also an excellent option for those who love having the company of a pet, but due to personal or uncertain circumstances cannot adopt permanently. Young people, students or those who travel frequently or who are planning a major move or career change would do best to foster an animal, rather than adopt. Sometimes fostering is also a good option for senior citizens whose general long-term health might be of some concern. Most significantly however, those who foster usually express a feeling of great "reward" and satisfaction in knowing they have helped to directly save an animal's life. It is something many foster people elect to do again and again.

The Bottom Line

In short, foster care is the most direct way of saving animals' lives. All shelters and rescue groups are extremely limited in the numbers of animals they can save due to space restraints and other resource limitations. More fosters results in greater numbers of animals saved and less need to "euthanize" adoptable cats and dogs in pounds due to lack of space.

It costs millions of dollars to open up animal shelters. The bottom line is we do not have enough shelters for all the animals who need them. Unless safe and temporary sanctuary can be found for the many thousands of adoptable cats and dog who, for whatever reason, find themselves in animal pounds or on streets, then our "euthanasia statistics" will tragically remain in the tens of thousands each year, despite whatever "spins" and candy-coating we try to put on this dismal situation.

Please, for the sake of the animals, if you can, please volunteer to be a "foster parent."

For more information or to volunteer to save a life, please call us at (212) 427-8273.

Patty Adjamine,
New Yorkers for Companion Animals
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated ~ Mahatma Gandhi
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:04 AM
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Default Re: The importance of fostering

Taken from: http://www.bestfriends.org/nomorehom.../fostering.pdf

Becoming a Foster Home

How you can save a life by giving a
temporary home to a shelter animal.
By Faith Maloney

Being a foster home is not easy. Taking animals into your own
home, loving them, and then letting them go requires a very particular
kind of ability.
Fostering isn’t for everyone, but for Chaz and Jean Blackmore
it’s the only way to go. They decided that, along with their own
dogs Jaspar and Cody, they would provide a temporary home to
one foster dog at a time.
“The dogs do everything with us,” says Chaz. “They go jogging
with us and they go for car trips. In the case of Tika, a black
lab mix, she went with us on our honeymoon. She got to meet
moose, deer, and mountain goats, and she found her new family
while we were in Aspen. Her new people were vacationing there
at the same time as us. They really connected with Tika, so when
we got home, we arranged for her permanent adoption.
Every day, thousands of dogs just like Tika don’t ever make it
into a new home simply because there is no room in shelters and
humane societies to take them all. Foster homes offer a vital alternative
to this sad situation.
Barbara Conrad of Salt Lake City has been a foster mom to
hundreds of cats and dogs over the years. She volunteers her services
for the Humane Society of Utah. This year, Best Friends
honored her as Person of the Year at our awards ceremony here in
our home state of Utah.
Barbara, a modest woman, shrugs off her achievements, pointing
out that there are many other people like her who enable precious
lives to be saved.
“Fostering is very important to each animal, but especially to
cats,” said Barbara. “They get so depressed in a shelter, and consequently
often get really sick. They seem to be more sensitive
than dogs. And their anxiety, known as “cage depression,” can
make things worse for them because they then don’t look good to
potential adopters.
“Being able to have them spend time in a foster home before
going up for permanent adoption can mean the difference between
life and death for a lot of cats.”
In California, Linda and her husband Mike provide a foster
home for animals from their local rescue group. In three years,
they’ve placed about 150 animals.

But, however good the new homes, there’s always a potential
problem when you’re fostering an animal. In Linda and Mike’s
case, Mike falls in love with them all and never wants to let them
“With every animal that comes through the door, he begs me to
keep it and add it to our own brood. If it’s with us for longer than
two weeks, he gets really upset when I find it a home. He pouts
for days, even when I tell him how happy our own cats are when
the interloper is finally gone. Then he’s delighted when the next
foster arrives and we go through it all again!”
While many people can’t let go, others are reluctant to foster
in the first place, thinking that it is somehow unfair to take in a
dog or cat, establish a bond, and then allow the animal to be adopted
out into another home. Isn’t that a second abandonment?
I used to feel like that myself. But once I saw how being in a
foster home helped a dog or cat find a quality permanent placement,
I changed my mind. Taking a stray or frightened animal
and showing him or her that people can be kind, that food is available,
and that there is a warm place to sleep, creates a marvelous
bridge to a new home. And those of us who provide foster space
know that there is never a shortage of animals that need this preparation
time before finding their own people.
Letting them go isn’t easy. Often, a foster home turns into a
permanent home. This is why all rescue, shelter, and humane societies
are always on the hunt for new foster homes.
Are you ready to give fostering a try? Then contact your local
humane society or rescue group and talk to them about it. Maybe
there will be some training involved, some papers to sign, and
then it’s back home with a new temporary family member.
If we are going to make a difference in the number of animals
killed each year because there is not enough space to house them,
then becoming a foster parent is a priority. It is important, valuable
work and, best of all, it saves lives.
You can download the Best Friends manual about foster care from
the No More Homeless Pets section of the Best Friends Web site at
www.bestfriends.org. Or write to Best Friends for a copy. (Please send
a large self-addressed, stamped envelope.)
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated ~ Mahatma Gandhi
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:07 AM
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Default Re: The importance of fostering

and here.. from an animal shelter's point of view..


Foster Care Program
The HSOP’s Foster Care Program is designed to provide temporary homes for pets that are not immediately ready for adoption. Foster volunteers open their homes to animals and provide them with the love and care that they need in order to be ready to find a new forever home of their own. Often foster volunteers help to care for kittens who are too young to be vaccinated and just need a few weeks of TLC to ready them for adoption.

Volunteer foster homes provide a safe place for foster animals to stay, nutritious food, socialization and health care to their animal guests. This important program enables us to save the lives of animals that might otherwise have to be euthanzied. Before taking on the responsibility and commitment of becoming a foster care volunteer, you should fully understand what it means and will entail to be a foster. While we along with our current foster parents believe that fostering is fun, rewarding work, it also requires a certain amount of time, energy and a big heart.

Opportunities to Foster
The Humane Society needs loving foster homes for the following types of pets:

Pregnant cats and dogs-need foster homes from pregnancy until their offspring are 8 weeks old
Cats of all ages
Dogs of all ages
Special needs pets
Pets waiting for transport to other rescue organizations
While our Staff works hard to make our shelter a clean and healthy environment, fighting illness is an ongoing battle in a shelter environment. Fostering, especially young puppies and kittens, is one way to help keep our animals as healthy as possible. In foster homes they are not exposed to the diseases that can so easily enter our shelter with the next incoming animal.

By fostering you are not only saving the life of your foster pet, but you also help us make room for another animal at the shelter. Fostering can greatly reduce the number of animals euthanized at the Humane Society.

How does fostering work
Fostering a pet is quite simple–it begins when you volunteer to care for a homeless pet in your home. You take the pet home from the shelter and provide love, nourishment and proper veterinary care until it finds a forever home, either through shelter contacts or adopt-a-thons. Foster times vary from a few days to a few months-it depends on the type of pet.

So you want to foster
We really recommend you read the following information:
Becoming a Foster Parent
Fostering Frequently Asked Questions
Foster Care Handbook

If after all that you’re still interested (hope we haven’t scared you off) please complete a Volunteer Application and drop it off or fax it to the shelter for processing. You’ll then be contacted for scheduling your orientation session.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated ~ Mahatma Gandhi
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Old 02-27-2009, 12:01 PM
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acsyen acsyen is offline
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Default Re: The importance of fostering

I love these articles.. I also have one fostering and rescuing guide done by myself but I feel it is too strong to be shared with everyone. Thanks Lynie for sharing..
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Old 02-27-2009, 12:47 PM
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Default Re: The importance of fostering

sharing is caring my friend
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated ~ Mahatma Gandhi
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Old 03-04-2009, 02:43 PM
ashleywong ashleywong is offline
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Default Re: The importance of fostering

My two cents - i really wish that the animal shelters/ rescue organisations in our country would and could come together to decide on well-thought out initiative /plan or wahtever you call it, implement and effective drive it - a network of fosterers or volunteers who are given complete guidance and access to resources in helping to volunteer to foster animals - be it resources in terms of information support, guidance support, food and items resources, medical support, etc.

i am sure there are many big-hearted malaysians out there who truly love animals but is not sure or daunted at the thought of going it alone in rescuing and rehoming homeless animals. to those who have been committed enough to soldier on despite all odds stacked against them, i really salute them. imagine if the this aweful some, this huge reservoir of compassion and love for animals could be harnessed more effectively and efficiently, imagine how much more we could achieve

i also feel that the message needs to be driven home to malaysians of all walk of life, all class of life and all ages (be it young or old or in-between),

1) be humane, be considerate to animals - they are sentient beings too like us they too have feelings and they too deserve happiness, good health, safety and good life - just like we homo sapiens yearned for - the education here has to start from within homes and yes, the parents and adults need to be educated too. just one bit of compassion for the animals, for example, even if one extend a meal to a stray dog or cat, just one meal, it may only be a max of Rm10 from your pocket but it means the difference between life and death to that dog or cat - one full meal means the dog or cat will not have to wander and risk life and limb in order to fill its stomach, it will not run the risk of having to fight for its meal and risk injuries that may take its life or open it to untreated and painful illnesses/injuries, it will mean if the dog or cat is nursing, there will be milk for its babies.

2) adoption of homeless animals to provide a loving permanent home for them - adopt, don't buy from animal mills and dubious "home breeders" - many companion animals are actually abandonned when their human companion / family / owners decided out of the blue not to want them - or their "family" companion wants other "Cuter" dog or cat and decide their existing cats/dogs are not cute enough or those that homeless animals left unneutered or these breeders think they're not "right" for sale and abandonned them/abandonned the animals used for breeding purpose after they're exhausted and spent - for each animal bought from animal mills and so-called "home breeders" many more are put to death either at our animal shelters (our animal shelters do not have no-kill policy due to constraints of resources), suffer a horrible death at the hands of our "devil-dbkl" contractors-animal catchers/at the animal pound of the local city council or suffer lingering painful death either due to illness while being homeless on the streets or due to being hit by vehicles or being attacked by heartless devisl in the guise of humans

3) help volunteer to foster animals - for the reasons mentioned in the articles shared by lynie, - it may mean a portion of your time, effort and resources but to the animal concerned, it means the difference between life and death, the difference between happiness and suffering. even if one does not have adequate resources to help foster animals, one can consider either sponsoring the vaccination or neutering costs of the animals at shelters, etc, but the best is still foster - because it means giving them an extension on their life...but this is what it means - extending their life instead of ending it

4) neuter - neuter - neuter - your companion animals, or the homeless strays you are feeding near your house or office - you can take do it on your own or request help from the animal shelters for TNR assistance and it would be great if you can sponsor some money towards the meidcal costs for the TNR

just my two cents
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Old 03-07-2009, 02:27 PM
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Default Re: The importance of fostering

Nice articles. Thanks for posting
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