Want to make the world a better place in one simple step? Take home a foster pet from a local shelter or rescue group. Pet fostering provides temporary care for animals who, for a variety of reasons, need a place to live while awaiting their fur-ever home. I met Odin while he was in foster care. He’s adoptable and ready to share his story.
My name is Odin, King of the Norse Gods—but you would never know that from my early brush with death. I entered the shelter emaciated and dehydrated with a serious case of the sniffles. My paw was nearly touching the foot of the rainbow bridge, but then I remembered: I am Odin, the powerful one who possesses vast strength and durability far greater than a normal kitten. But one does not survive on personal powers alone, so with the help of a foster family, I was able to bounce back from near-death and thrive. I’m bulking up to a healthy weight, drinking water faster than a desert lizard in the sand, and climbing the family dog like nobody’s business. Now I am fit as a fiddle and ready to receive the tender loving care of a family who will welcome a Norse God—and purrfect pet-into their home.
Whether teaching a dog to trust or nurturing a kitten back to health, fostering provides an opportunity to change a life forever. Not only does fostering provide a healthy and safe environment for these animals, but it also frees up space in the shelter for another animal in need—saving not one life, but two.
Fostering also provides these animals more opportunities for socialization, exploration and expressing a wide range of normal behaviors that are difficult to achieve in a shelter. It helps prepare animals for adoption by giving them a chance to live in a home where they can fully express their personality, work to overcome fears or recover from trauma.
Not all animals are accustomed to living in a home; they may be afraid of stairs or spooked by unfamiliar sounds—even alerting their human that they need to go potty can pose a challenge. Having someone near to help them cope with these new experiences can make things a little less scary, and make them a little more confident each day.
Another benefit to animals in foster care is the love, attention and training they receive. Even special needs animals benefit tremendously because they’re receiving so much more than food, shelter and medical care. The personal time a foster family spends with the animal can correct undesirable behavior, increasing the possibility of being permanently adopted. It also gives a glimpse into how they behave and interact around other pets and different types of people.
Every year, 8 million pets are surrendered to shelters, but only about half are adopted. This doesn’t include the hundreds of thousands of animals living on the streets. Giving an animal a temporary, or pawssibly permanent, home is the first step in giving a pet a second chance.
For details about fostering a local pet, contact Animal Care & Protective Services at coj.net/departments/environmental-and-compliance/animal-care---protective-services.aspx.
Davi the dachshund knows that family doesn’t have anything to do with sharing blood—or fur.