What exactly does fostering mean? It means bringing a homeless animal into your home, caring for them, providing them with affection and socialization, until a permanent family comes along who will love them forever.
Many times rescues, such as ours, who have no central facility, rely solely on foster homes to determine how many animals can be helped. Shelters also rely on fosters to provide a change of environment for long term residents or those dogs who may be having a hard time adjusting to a kennel atmosphere.
Shelters and rescues often look to fosters for those animals who may have endured a difficult past such as abuse, cruelty, neglect, under socialization, etc. As a foster, you have the chance and opportunity to gain an animals trust, show them human touch and love perhaps for the first time, provide an environment for them to feel safe, and watch them transform before your eyes.
If you have existing pets, introducing a dog or cat can be a great experience for them as an additional companion, additional socialization, and an additional playmate! Children can benefit from fostering as a way to introduce responsibility, selflessness, a way to educate about animals, and is also a great way to "test" the idea of a permanent animal into the home in the future.
Fellow fosters and volunteers from Underdog Salvation will help guide you through the experience, give ideas, answer any questions, and may even become your friends! There is nothing quite like sharing experiences with those who do the same and being part of a community of people who have like passions.
When the day comes, that your foster finds that perfect home, the rewarding feeling you will experience is something very special. You will feel a sense of pride, in knowing what you helped that animal accomplish in his time with you. You will feel overjoyed, that he has found his forever family and his happy ending that all homeless animals so desire. And while certainly, some goodbyes can be tough, knowing that a cat or dog has found his happy ending and that another precious life awaits to be afforded your gifts, is as good of a feeling as there is!