Be a foster: If you must give a pet for Christmas, do this!

Be a foster: If you must give a pet for Christmas, do this! 1After posting about why giving a pet as a Christmas gift is such a horrible idea, I realized many people will do it regardless of likely consequences.

What can I offer them?

Now, I can’t immediately think of organizations that do this. Still, I remember hearing of some shelters/rescues that allow families to take home a foster or foster-to-adopt pet over the holidays.

Fostering is almost always a good idea and solves many adoption-related issues. The rescue organization remains the pet’s owner and pays some or all of the pet’s expenses. If you run into problems, you have someone to call.

In most cases, fosters keep animals for one or two months or until they are adopted. Foster parents may take animals for training, vet visits, and to be shown at adoption events.

But, you may be able to find a short-term foster arrangement over the holidays. If it is a shelter animal, extract a promise that your former foster will never be euthanized. Just saying…

As a foster parent, you are giving a rescue/shelter dog a healthy place to relax and unwind. And lots of loving attention.

You will be able to tell prospective adopters all about the animal. You will help match your foster to the right adopter.

That matters more than even many fosters realize. Sending a foster pet home with the right new parent(s) is a giant step toward a loving forever home.

Then, as a successful foster, you select another homeless animal, and the homing and adoption process begins again.

Or it doesn’t.

The beauty of fostering is that while pet ownership should be forever, fostering lasts only as long as the foster and rescue organization wants it to. Some folks I know have multiple fosters at once.

Other fosters become attached and become a “foster failure” not because of any mistake but by choosing to adopt the animal themselves. Adopting an animal you’ve been fostering is hardly a failure.

Fostering is so important to saving homeless animals that I often say “fostering makes the world go ’round.” Anyone can help and it doesn’t require a long-term committment.

Please consider bringing a foster pet into your home.

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Be a foster: If you must give a pet for Christmas, do this! 2

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