Being a foster parent to a pet requires patience, dedication and commitment, but it can be highly rewarding. Fostering a pet can help to make that pet more prepared for adoption and a smooth transition into their new home and life. That said, there are some actions one can take in order to ensure that their fostering experience is a pleasant one for all involved.
Fostering a Pet During the Holidays
The holiday season can be a wonderful time for pets who are seeking new homes. It is a time when many individuals and families considering opening up their homes to a beloved new pet, and in the spirit of giving to others may choose to adopt a shelter pet. However, it is also a time of year when shelters and rescue groups are quite full, and rely heavily on the support of foster parents in order to take care of the many pets that are in need. For those individuals who love animals and want to do something helpful during the holiday season, becoming a foster parent to a pet can seem like a wonderful solution. That said, there are some things to consider when taking on a foster pet.
First of all, if you have any pets of your own it is important to ensure that they are in good health and are current on all their vaccinations. Most foster pets must be immunized prior to their placement, but since there is always a health risk when you expose your animal to other animals, it is best to ensure that your own pet is in healthy enough a condition to have a low chance of illness or disease. The health of other family members should also be considered when thinking of fostering a pet. Individuals who are immune compromised should consult their medical doctor prior to fostering a pet, and if anyone in the household is pregnant or planning to become pregnant they should speak with their doctor prior to fostering cats so they can receive pertinent information regarding the special precautions they may need to take.
Another thing to consider is whether any of the purchases made to care for foster pets are tax-deductible. Some shelters or rescue groups have a tax-deductible status that allow for foster pet care purchases to be considered donations, and therefore tax-deductible. It is important that one keeps all receipts for purchases. When it comes to veterinary care, however, one should coordinate closely with the shelter or rescue group in order to find out how they prefer to manage these situations. They may require that foster parents notify them prior to seeking treatment, or they may have a preferred veterinarian that all foster parents are asked to use. These costs are usually covered by the shelter or rescue group, but this too should be verified prior to taking on a foster pet.
Some foster parents fall in love with the pet they are fostering, and many shelters and rescue groups permit these individuals to adopt their foster pets. However, in some cases this is not entirely workable, especially when the household is already home to several other pets. For this reason, foster parents are asked to not rename the pets they are fostering. Many foster pets already have a name that was given to them by their previous owners or the shelter or rescue group. This means that the pet may already know his or her name, and all the shelter paperwork is also under that name. It will ease the communication between shelter staff, foster families, potential adopters and the animal to use the same name. Obviously, if a foster parent does end up successfully adopting one of their foster pets, they can change the pet’s name if they so choose.
A New Life
Foster pets are being offered a brand new life through the kindness and care of shelter staff and loving foster parents. If you choose to foster a pet during the holidays, your efforts may be very well rewarded when they are successfully started on the path to a wonderful, forever home.