What Does Fostering Mean and How Will It Impact Me?
What exactly does fostering mean? It means bringing a homeless dog into your home, caring for them, providing them with affection and socialization, until a permanent family comes along who will love them forever.
The benefits of fostering are numerous, and not only a wonderful thing for the dog and shelter or rescue, but can be beneficial to the one doing the fostering in so many ways!
Many times rescues who have no central facility, rely solely on foster homes to determine how many dogs they can bring into rescue. Shelters also rely on fosters to provide a change of environment for long term residents or those dogs who may be having a hard time adjusting to a kennel atmosphere.
Often times, certain dogs may not “show” well in a kennel environment due to excess energy, or jockeying for attention as potential adopters walk by. While fostering a dog, you are able to provide exercise and stimulation, which in turn creates a calmer dog in the kennel which in many cases may be closer to what their behavior will look like in a home environment. In addition, you can work with the dog on leash training, house training, or other basic command training, that potential adopters will find attractive when looking for the perfect dog for their family.
Shelters and rescues often look to fosters for those dogs who may have endured a difficult past such as abuse, cruelty, neglect, under socialization, etc. As a foster, you have the chance and opportunity to gain a dog’s trust, show them human touch and love perhaps for the first time, provide an environment for them to feel safe, and watch them transform before your eyes.
If you have existing pets, introducing a dog can be a great experience for them as an additional companion, additional socialization, and an additional playmate! Children can benefit from fostering as a way to introduce responsibility, selflessness, a way to educate about animals, and is also a great way to “test” the idea of a permanent dog into the home in the future.
Fellow fosters from WAMAL will help guide you through the experience, give ideas, answer any questions, and may even become your friends! There is nothing quite like sharing experiences with those who do the same and being part of a community of people who have like passions.
When the day comes, that your foster finds that perfect home, the rewarding feeling you will experience is something very special. You will feel a sense of pride, in knowing what you helped that dog accomplish in his time with you. You will feel overjoyed, that he has found his forever family and his happy ending that all homeless dogs so desire. And while certainly, some goodbyes can be tough, knowing that a dog has found his happy ending and that another precious life awaits to be afforded your gifts, is as good of a feeling as there is!