WHAT DOES A FOSTER PARENT DO?
A foster parent does everything a pet owner does, but for a shorter time! Daily care, feeding, grooming, reinforcing obedience, and generally giving the pet love and affection, along with a safe place to stay. Foster parents are important for so many reasons. It is foster parents who work with their rescue and sometimes trainers to get their pet ready for adoption. It is foster parents who learn what a pet is like in a home situation, their likes and dislikes, and their little quirks – things that are impossible to tell in a shelter situation. These things are crucial to helping a pet go into their forever home… knowing the pet and being able to communicate that to potential adopters is essential.
HOW LONG WILL THE FOSTER PET STAY WITH ME?
This is our most common question, and is the most difficult to answer. It can be anywhere from two months to six months, sometimes longer – there is no fixed time. Some pets go faster than others and there is really no way to of determining which one will or which one will not. A committed foster will keep a pet as long as it takes for them to find their forever home.
DO I NEED TO BE HOME ALL DAY IN ORDER TO FOSTER?
Absolutely not. Unless you are fostering a puppy or kitten who perhaps need bottle feeding, younger pups must have someone to keep an eye on them for most of the day, older puppy's and dogs should be just fine contained at home during your work day – just like any other pet. We do ask fosters who have resident pets to keep everyone secure, safe and separated when they are not home to supervise pet interactions. Never leave pets together unattended for everyone’s sake.
DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR EVERYTHING MYSELF?
No! HART covers the costs of all medical care. There may be small incidental expenses such as pet bowls if you don’t already have them, but your foster will usually come to your home with everything they need – collar, leash, litter box, crate… We are also usually happy to provide food if you are not in a position to swing that cost. We would love to be able to pay for toys and other things for your fosters, but cannot reimburse you.
WHAT IF I BECOME TOO ATTACHED TO MY FOSTER? WHAT IF I CAN’T LET GO?
This is the biggest fear of many people… letting go. That is completely natural – you are fostering because you love animals, and you will probably become attached. It would be strange if you didn’t! But when you meet the perfect family that will give the animal their permanent home, you will be happy to see them go. That’s why you fostered in the first place! It is a wonderful thing to do to make sure that an animal in need will find a loving home!
AM I ALLOWED TO ADOPT MY FOSTER PET?
Of course! It is lovingly called “foster failure” and it happens. HART understands how you can become attached, and you are always offered first choice at adopting your foster!
WONT IT BE HARD TO LET THEM GO?
It is completely natural to love your foster and it is never easy to let them go. All rescue volunteers understand this. When a foster fully realizes the wonderful gift they were able to give to an animal in need as well as their new family – so excited to have them, it makes it all worthwhile! To have opened your heart and your home, is truly an amazing experience. Just think, when you deliver your foster to their new home you will be able to foster another animal in need.
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