National Foster a Pet Month with Kat Duncan

by | Cats, Pet Sitting, Pets

by Bobbi

Who benefits from Fostering a Pet?  As we all know, pets can help humans with coping with stress, decrease blood pressure and help with loneliness and depression, but what does the pet get in return?

As an outsider to the pet fostering system, it appears this is just a holding place until the pet gets placed into a new home.  BUT, there is so much more to fostering a pet. Most Rescues’ and Shelter’s do not know much about the pet when it comes through their doors.  In some circumstances the pet came from a bad situation, so understanding their temperament could be a challenge. The pet gets placed into a foster home where they can be monitored for their temperament and habits. A trained foster can report on all aspects necessary to helping the adoption process, such as:

 *Social skills- Are they good with children, other pets, people and certain household noises?

*Eating habits: Do they eat too fast, don’t eat at all or maybe is a finicky eater?

* Personalities- Are they laid back, scared, aggressive, sensitive or not socialized (people or pet) at all?

*Skills- Have they been potty trained? Do they know tricks? Are they leash/harness trained?

*Overall mental health can be learned by a caring foster person.  If they were a companion dog for an elderly person who died, are they grieving? Are they confused? Are they scared? Are they a loner or like to hang out with other dogs? Have they been abused?

Fostering a pet is a volunteer situation, and most Rescues’ provide the necessities to care for the pet.  A wellness check and updated vaccines are required prior to in home foster care.  The Rescue in which the pet is registered then starts the processes to find a qualified home.

We wanted to find out firsthand, so we asked Kat Duncan, who is a pet foster!

“Most rescues provide everything! I am sure it varies a bit but the ones I have fostered with provide everything you may need. Right now I primarily volunteer and foster with Unchained Melodies and we provide a crate, blankets, food, leash/halter, poop bags, toys, chew toys, puzzle toys, bowls for food/water, medicine etc. Even sweaters for cold weather, Halloween costumes, outfits for holidays. Everything you need to spoil the pup! The idea is that since the rescue provides everything else, you are just providing the love and care to save that pup’s life and help them find them a forever home!” 

“You will be required to fill out a foster parent application – this gives the rescue an idea of what kind of dog you can foster. Some foster dogs are flight risks and really need a fenced yard, or certain apartment complexes have size/breed restrictions etc. The rescue will ask you about your home, if you have a yard/fence, how many hours you work a day, for your landlord’s contact info if you rent, and other questions so they can place a foster with you that is a good fit for you and for the pup! As an example, when you foster a puppy you really need to be able to give it a ton of attention, exercise and regular potty breaks every 2-4 hours (especially when they’re freshly weaned away from momma) so someone who works 12 hour days probably isn’t a good fit for a puppy foster. We also ask that foster parents do the basics of training to set the dog up for success in their forever home – so you’ll crate train, potty train, leash train and socialize the pup while you have them. The application process is to make sure that the right foster is placed with you for their success and yours! Rescues want it to be a good experience for you so you keep fostering. Fosters are the one resource every rescue needs more of. More fosters means we can rescue more dogs – we can never have too many fosters because there is always a waiting list of dogs who need our help.”

“I look for what their individual needs are! Some foster dogs *love* to play all day with my dogs and just constantly want to be wrestling besties, those fosters I try to find a home with a dog sibling because I can see they really love having one. Dogs who love long hikes/walks, we try to find them an active family who will take them on trail adventures. If a dog is a little fearful and tends to need more time warming up to get comfortable, we look for a family that can be patient and not expect an immediate loving bond with the pup. Other dogs really love their humans more than other dogs, they just want to be in your lap always – so we look for someone who wants a lap dog. Really, we are looking to fit the pup with the perfect humans so that it’s a great match for both. Dogs have personalities, fears, quirks and needs – so the foster process helps us learn those so we can list that in their adoption profile and find them the best forever home for them!” 

The fostering process can provide the pet a better opportunity for placement with a new family. If the Foster decided to keep the pet, well…they have a name for that “It’s a Foster Fail”, meaning it will be one less pet that Foster will be able to take in!

Just a few CoMO rescues in need of fosters:

 Home – Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue

Contact Us | Midwest Australian Shepherd Rescue