JustOneMorePet

Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Should You ‘Foster’ a Pet?

When my only child headed off for school last fall, the house was quiet. Tomb quiet. Even my 6-year-old bichon frise, Rosie, felt the emptiness.

My home needed new energy, which soon arrived in a crate of three wiggling, yapping, licking and bounding dachshund puppies, who needed a foster home. Soon, 8-week-old Sunny, Red and Vinnie were filling big spaces in my heart and house with little antics — latching on to the same toy, tumbling over long-suffering Rosie, snuggling in my lap for a midmorning snooze.

Fostering rescue pets is a lesson in loving and letting go. It’s a great fit for older animal lovers who want to share themselves and their homes fully, but not forever.

"Fostering is particularly attractive to older people who generally have more flexible schedules and more time to devote to animals in need," says Kim Intino, director of shelter services for the Humane Society of the United States. Also, many shelters foot the bill for food, toys and vet bills, which makes fostering "attractive to folks on a fixed income," Intino says.

Fostering, which usually lasts between one week and three months, also can be a labor of love for snowbirds and frequent travelers, who shelter animals between trips.

"Some older people own two homes and aren’t in one area for a whole year," says Lois Lefkowitz of Virginia, who has fostered 24 animals over four years. "Fostering is a great way to have some companionship and help some dogs and cats."

Although national rescue groups don’t keep statistics on pet fostering, the Humane Society estimates that tens of thousands of families foster pets every year. In Sacramento, Calif., alone, the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals placed 1,000 animals — including rabbits and rats — with Sacramento-area foster families in 2009.

"Retired people are a prime resource for us," says Leslie Kirrene, a spokeswoman for Sacramento SPCA.

Questions to Consider Before Fostering a Pet

Dann Tardif/Blend Images/Corbis

  1. How long can I commit myself to a pet?
  2. What age pet do I want?
  3. What energy level suits me best?
  4. Does my apartment complex have pet restrictions?
  5. Do I have the patience to train a young or troubled pet, or nurse an ailing pet?
  6. Can I love and let go?

To find a pet to foster, contact your local animal shelter or rescue group. For a nationwide list of animal rescue groups and animals who need a foster family, visit petfinder.com.

Source: AARP

June 18, 2011 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal Abandonement, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Animal Rescues, animals, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, Help Familie Keep Their Pets, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Outreach for Pets, Pet Adoption, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Soldier’s Pets Find a Home Away from Home

Reunited after 18 months in Iraq. Photo: Courtesy of Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet

In the past, soldiers without family or friends to care for their cats and dogs were often forced to surrender their pets to a shelter. Luckily, thanks to a nonprofit organization called Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet (GASP), that’s changed.

Since 2005, GASP has placed 100 soldiers’ pets in loving foster homes across the country. GASP founder and CEO Linda Spurlin-Dominik tells Paw Nation that the organization currently keeps tabs on 67 military pets in foster care. When soldiers return, they are reunited with their furry family members.

Most fostered pets are cats and dogs, but ferrets and rabbits have also been cared for by GASP volunteers. The organization screens potential foster homes to ensure that soldiers’ pets end up in safe, loving environments until they can be returned to their owners. Usually, foster homes are within a two-hour drive of the owner’s home, Spurlin-Dominik says. But in cases where local foster families aren’t available, pet transport volunteers have ferried pets across state lines to make sure they find a caring household. “The objective is to place the pet in a home similar to what they’re used to,” she says.

Soldiers provide funds to cover feeding and vet expenses while they’re away and they set up a billing account to cover any emergency medical treatment in case their pet falls ill. In some cases, GASP also provides financial assistance with vet bills and housing. Most soldiers have a chance to meet their pets’ foster families before they depart, and foster families keep soldiers’ spirits up by sending photos and update letters about their furry friends.

When a military member’s orders change on short notice, or pet-care plans fall through at the last minute, GASP will pay to board the pets until a suitable foster home is located, Spurlin-Dominik explains.

Before heading to war, military members prepare a will instructing what should happen to their pets if they don’t make it home safely. In some cases, they allow willing foster families to keep the pet. Fortunately, though, that hasn’t happened yet, according to Spurlin-Dominik. So far, 33 former foster pets have been reunited with their owners after they’ve returned from battle.

She recalls a soldier who was reunited with his two dogs after having served 18 months overseas. “The dog was all stretched out on the couch when the owner came in. He perked up his ears. When the owner called his name, the dog went ballistic. I can attest that they do not forget their owners,” she tells Paw Nation. “As one soldier told me, having his two dogs back was a tremendous help for him to transition back into a non-war environment. He just had comfort having his dogs with him.”

Interested in assisting Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet or applying to be a foster family? Visit their website to learn more about volunteer and donation options.

by Kirsten Taylor – Aug 27th 2009 5:00PM – PawNation.com

Posted: Just One More Pet – Cross Posted:  Marion’s Place

Related Posts:

Adopting a Four-Legged Veteran

Military Punishment for Dog Killer, Abuser a Joke! No Justice! VIDEO

Police Dog Killer Gets Life Without Parole

Glenn Beck – Teen punks murder American Hero’s Dog

September 20, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Success Stories | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment