When kittens and puppies are brought to the shelter at an early age their development is critical. It is important to the kittens and puppies to be socialized, and monitored properly over the course of the few weeks after birth. Because kittens and puppies have vulnerable immune systems, a foster home is a better environment for young animals to build active immunities against disease. Kittens often come into a shelter weighing about a pound and need to gain the appropriate weight for their spay or neuter surgeries. A foster home is a good place for these kittens to pack on the ounces.
Long stay animals (shelter stay that exceeds 3 months for dogs and 6 months for cats) benefit from fostering for a few reasons. First, fostering increases exposure to the public (your friends, relatives and people you meet with your pet) and increases the chance the pet will be adopted. Second, when pets leave the shelter environment, they have increased access to training. This is especially critical for dogs that have not lived inside a home before, and for pets that struggle with inappropriate bathroom and/or greeting behaviors. Cats, on the other hand, benefit from the increased stimuli and interaction of a home environment. Although shelter staff do their best to enrich the lives of every animal, very active and outgoing cats can become lethargic or even ornery when left along for long periods of time in the shelter. These cats, brought into foster homes, thrive on positive interaction and stimulation.
Fostering also comes with the benefits that we give ourselves. By opening our hearts and home to a shelter pet, even for a very short time, we feel a sense of accomplishment. When our duty has ended for each pet, we can be happy knowing how much difference we made. The commitment to fostering is as important to you as it is to the animal. You have shown compassion in ways most only wish they could.
A Voice for Paws covers all expenses – food, litter, veterinary – you just supply the space and the love! Fill out a Foster Application today!