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Pet Fostering Helps Shelter Animals Get Adopted
Picture this. A gorgeous 6 month old German Shepard huddles terrified in the corner of a shelter. The foster coordinator explains to the foster parents that she’s a little scared of things…like people, other dogs, stairs, noises, pretty much anything, actually. The shelter named her Sweet Pea and she was found dumped and wearing a collar so tight that it was imbedded in her skin.
Sweet Pea has been so traumatized she’s forgotten how to be a puppy, let alone a pet, and she is virtually un-adoptable in her current state.
Enter pet fostering. Pet fostering programs help shelter pets with special needs become socialized and therefore more adoptable.
Many shelter animals have been brutalized and left behind, leaving them terrified of any human contact. The fostering process helps them to understand and adapt to a loving home and gives them a real chance at a happy future.
Animals in foster care learn basic obedience and house training. Some may be recovering from surgery or an illness and need one on one care. Many older animals that grew up in homes are simply suffering from “shelter stress” and need a quiet atmosphere to recover.
Kittens and puppies that have not been fully vaccinated might get sick in a shelter and very old animals do far better away from all of the hubub.
The fostering program is proven effective in turning the tide from un-adoptable to an excellent pet. For example, in Wayside Waifs in south Kansas City, which put over 800 pets in foster care in 2011 has experienced huge success. “Within two weeks of being fostered most pets are adopted,” said Kristin Sampson, foster program manager.
Another factor in its success is that fostered animals are less likely to be returned to a shelter as foster parents can convey to prospective adopters the personality of the pet. Fluffy is good with kids.... Bowser loves to curl up at your feet... This kitten likes to play hide and seek.... etc. You get the idea. The Pet Foster Network is an excellent reference for information and resources all over the country. Go to petfoster.org for more information on this wonderful program.
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