“I’ve done 2 fosters since last summer - first was Mr. Munch from a hoarding case last summer. He was 28 lb at intake…and a gorgeous filled out boy now! Also had little Huckleberry, now “Archie” from this past December. It is daunting bringing them home. But man these dogs settled in quick and made us laugh so much. The dogs are so grateful to have the love and a home and give back the love ten fold. Fostering these dogs connected me with awesome people too - it’s like growing our family. I love getting updates on how they’re doing. I’ll send some photos of them! A before and after for Munch.”
“Fostering is one of the greatest gifts we can give to an animal in need.
Some people believe they could never foster because it would be too hard to say goodbye.
Sometimes, that’s true, which is why we have “Foster Fails”! Sometimes it’s meant to be and that pup can stay with you if it’s a match. Other times, helping that dog transition from a shelter/rescue situation to a loving home is its own reward. You take in a dog that might be terrified and not know much about being a pet, and you get to watch that little soul blossom under your care. You save lives. What could be better than that?
Fostering through ITAV has been particularly fulfilling because I always feel very supported and there is a helpful network of people. My fosters have gone on to wonderful homes that were much better suited to them than mine would have been. I love getting updates from their adopters and learning how well they’re doing and how happy, safe, and loved they are.”
“So far, I have had 4 foster dogs with ITAV and I have truly loved the experience. My first ones were 3 little yellow lab puppies! Since the first moment I saw them, I fell in love! I had no idea how I was going to give them up. But, throughout the 2 weeks I had them, I also got to get to know some of the potential adopters. I saw the adopters get so excited about the puppies and I knew all the pups would be going to great homes. The same thing happened with my other dog, Roscoe. He was so sweet and cuddly, I knew he would be such a great dog. The family who adopted him was so excited to get him. When I dropped him off, the family’s little boy ran over with a handful of new toys they bought just for Roscoe. I knew Roscoe was finally in the right place”
What exactly does fostering mean? It means bringing a homeless Animal into your home, caring for them, providing them with affection and socialization, until a permanent family comes along who will love them forever.
Our Rescue has no central facility. We rely solely on the homes of our fosters to determine how many dogs we can pull from the euthanaisia lists at local county shelters. Fosters are also crucial in determining the dog’s temperament and behavior. The more information we can provide the potential adopters, the better. Fosters are also needed for expectant female dogs, by affording them a quiet and comfortable atmosphere to deliver puppies and care for them in those first weeks of crucial development.
Often times, certain Animals may not "show" well in a kennel environment due to excess energy, or jockeying for attention as potential adopters walk by. While fostering a Animal, you are able to provide exercise and stimulation, which in turn creates a calmer Animal 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 Animal on leash training, house training, or other basic command training, that potential adopters will find attractive when looking for the perfect Animal for their family.
Shelters and rescues often look to fosters for those Animals 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 Animals 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 Animal 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 Animal into the home in the future.
Fellow fosters from the same shelter or rescue 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 Animals so desire. And while certainly, some goodbyes can be tough, knowing that a Animal 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!
DEAR FOSTER MOM:
There I sat, alone and afraid,
You got a call and came right to my aid.
You bundled me up with blankets and love,
And, when I needed it most, you gave me a hug.
I learned that the world was not all that scary and cold,
That sometimes there is someone to have and to hold.
You taught me what love is, you helped me to mend,
You loved me and healed me and became my first friend.
And just when I thought you'd done all you do,
There came along not one new lesson, but two.
First you said, "Sweetheart, you're ready to go,
I've done all I can, and you've learned all I know."
Then you bundled me up with a blanket and kiss,
Along came a new family, they even have kids!
They took me to their home, forever to stay,
At first I thought you sent me away.
Then that second lesson became perfectly clear,
No matter how far, you will always be near.
And so, Foster Mom, you know I've moved on,
I have a new home, with toys and a lawn.
But I'll never forget what I learned that first day,
You never really give your fosters away.
You gave me these thoughts to remember you by,
We may never meet again, and now I know why.
You'll remember I lived with you for a time,
I may not be yours, but you'll always be mine.