Everyone always asks: “How do you do it? How can you foster pets without getting too close to them How do you accept the challenge of rehabilitating a dog or cat to the point where they are enjoying life again only to see them leave and spend a long happy life with someone else?”
You do get attached to them, and that is difficult, but it shouldn’t stop anyone from helping animals in need.
Foster families ask a different question, a question that will unfortunately never be answered: “How do they do it?”— meaning, the abused pets. I wish I could ask all of the foster pets my family has rescued how they survived and how they were able to eventually let go of the past and trust people again.
I can only imagine the horrific stories these pets would tell me if they could. From a litter of Chihuahua puppies rescued from a severe hoarding case, a bait dog used in dog fighting that barely survived, a young dog intentionally scalded with boiling water over most of its body, a tiny kitten set on fire and left to die, a beagle from a testing lab, to a puppy mill breeding dog who spent eight years in a cage, the stories would be innumerable and most likely too disturbing for me to handle.
Of course fostering has its challenges: Cleaning wounds, giving medicines, traveling to the vet, remaining calm when beginning house training, and finally letting go, but these challenges cannot compete with the challenges that these animals faced, and many animals are facing right now.
There is a dire need for foster care and the joy and unconditional love foster volunteers receive would translate into saving lives. Perfectly healthy pets need foster homes as well because shelters are overcrowded and foster homes open up more space so fewer pets are euthanized.
Fostering a pet means opening your heart and home to a pet in need and giving them a chance at life. It is so rewarding to be a part of their lives and to serve as a stepping stone to their new futures.