Foster Care, The Next Best Thing

Foster Fostering Animals Posted Apr 13, 2023
If you aren’t sure that owning a pet is for you, or your situation doesn’t allow for a long-term commitment then fostering an animal may be the perfect temporary solution.

It doesn’t just benefit you! You’re providing important socialising skills and much needed love to an animal that would otherwise be in a shelter and can improve their chances of being rehomed.

“Fostering is all about giving an animal a second chance at a wonderful life. It’s about being a springboard to launch that animal into a much loved and caring forever home,” RSPCA Foster Care Coordinator, Julie Herbert.

So what types of animals can you foster and is it hard work? Watch as RSPCA Chief Veterinarian Dr Anne Chester explains what’s involved:

How is fostering an animal different to adopting a pet?
Foster carers provide a temporary home for an animal in need for a range of reasons including; post-surgery recovery, time out of a shelter environment, kittens and puppies waiting to reach desexing age, when the shelter reaches capacity, pets that need extra training, and special cases relating to inspectorate.
What support is provided to foster carers?
The foster care program provides nearly everything for those fostering an animal. This includes; food, access to veterinary care, toys, water bowls, bedding, etc.  The only things dog and cat foster carers really need to provide is kitty litter and fresh raw bones; you can always spoil your foster pet with day trips and extra toys yourself too! The RSPCA foster team will provide details on your pet’s specific needs.

What pets need foster homes?
Foster carers who are in the greatest demand are those who can take in ringworm, cat flu and post-surgical cases.  Dog foster carers who have high fences, no dogs of their own and no young children are also highly sought after!

But I don’t want to give them back!
This is a common reason people don’t want to become foster carers. “Saying goodbye when pets are ready for adoption is hard, but knowing that you have made a difference in their life, soon turns tears into smiles.
“You fall in love with all of your foster animals.  And then sometimes, you meet that one very special foster who you just can’t imagine your life without and you make that foster animal, one of your own,” Foster Care Coordinator, Julie Herbert explains.

Fostering can be a great way of getting to know a pet’s personality before you are ready to adopt too! 

What’s involved to sign up to become a foster carer for the RSPCA?
“We set our foster carers up for success by enrolling every canine and feline foster carer into a Basic Foster Care Training session and by conducting property checks. Our carers usually tell us that they feel ‘educated and well prepared’ for their first fostering experience.” RSPCA’s Julie Herbert.

Fostering is very similar to adopting a pet in that the Foster Care Team will match your lifestyle and requirements to a pet requiring a temporary home. “When we call our carers with a prospective foster animal for them to take, it’s always up to the carer to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ depending upon what they feel comfortable fostering.  We never insist that a particular animal is fostered by a carer.”
“Carers are amongst the most caring, selfless, dedicated and amazing people on the planet.  To open your heart and home to animals in need, is truly the stuff of angels.”

Ready to take the leap? 
To sign up to be a foster carer, read the foster info package and apply online.

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