Why you should foster during the pandemic
Fostering allows you to form a bond and provide care for a rescue animal in need. The goal is to help welcome an animal into your temporary home before they find their forever home. Especially now during the Coronavirus lockdown, many people crave companionship and fostering a dog can be a great way to achieve that.
For the past month I have contacted local shelters and organizations to find available dogs for fostering and I am amazed to hear how quickly the rescue dogs in shelters are finding foster homes or are being adopted. I hope everyone that is willing and able to foster, or even adopt, takes on this wonderful and mutually beneficial responsibility.
Many animals are currently looking for a loving and providing home. As the majority of us are in quarantine and have the time and effort to take care of an animal, fostering one can be a mutually beneficial experience. Not only are you giving back to these animals by taking them out of the shelters, but animals, especially dogs, provide a more stress-free and happy environment. I have personally contacted numerous organizations and shelters to check availability and I am shocked at the results in how quickly these animals are being adopted or fostered every day.
If you live in Los Angeles, one good way to start is to call your local animal shelters and ask for availability or to check the LA Animal Services to find a wide variety of the animals that are currently available for fostering or adoption.
The average animal remains in a foster home for about two months; however, depending on the animal’s situation, they can stay a lot longer. Young animals, like puppies, tend to be in higher demand and can get adopted very quickly or even within weeks after being placed in a foster home. It is important to consistently update social media and/or your shelter with images and information on the animal you are fostering to help promote adoption. If all goes well in the end, hopefully you will even adopt them yourself!
In order to start the fostering process you must fill out applications for the organizations you are applying to. A lot of these applications will ask about your availability, your home environment, and other factors that help determine the right home for these animals. You should also do research before filling out an application or contacting a shelter to be able to provide information on the type, age, and size of animal you want.
These are some example questions that many of the organizations I have contacted have asked me:
- What is your daily schedule?
- How many hours are you away from home?
- Do you currently have other pets? If so, list their names, types, and ages.
- What is your experience with rescue animals?
**Also note that you must be 18 years old in order to foster an animal.**
Here are some important actions to take before bringing a foster animal into your home:
- Make sure your current animals are up to date on the correct vaccinations
- “Pet-proof” the house. Animals, especially kittens and puppies, will tend to get themselves into messes and can chew on potentially harmful things
- Be able to provide enough supplies for the animal like food, water, leashes, toys, beds, etc. (many organizations will provide you with a sufficient or standard supply)
- Make sure your yard is secure so the foster animal cannot escape or harm themselves