Fostering Shelter Pets

Do you smell those spring flowers, see those honey bees coming out of hiding? Feel the buzz of the sun on your face when you walk outside? (You’re picturing yourself cruising in that new convertible, I just know it.) We, the Lee County Humane Society Volunteers and staff do too! Spring is a time for fun in the sun, picnics in the park, and our “busy season”. Spring is the season of renewal and rebirth. Spring is also when shelters see an influx of animals. More puppies and kittens are born. Human activities increase, for some, but not most, our furry friends become obstacles or handicaps. Spring can often bring desires of new beginnings, opportunities, that new coat of paint, new vehicle, vacation… For whatever the reasons for the influx of animals we must greatly rely on our fosters to help prevent overcrowding at the shelter. When it comes to fostering, I think it can resemble test driving a used car. You watch the ads, read reviews, performance ratings, trust your Dad’s Best Bud’s word…the list goes on. But let me ask you this, “would you even know, or consider test driving this car without seeing an ad, some information, or a bit of research?” Fostering is an extremely integral part of a potential pet’s “sticker price”, their commercial, their full page ad that you can’t forget. The information and social development that happens in foster care drastically increases the fur baby’s overall physical and mental health, it also increases their chances of going from “For Sale” to “Sold”.

Selling a New/Used Car is no easy task and has a lot of moving parts (people). Same goes for finding a FURever home for these 5 Star animals. Discovering a Shelter Animal’s makeup, medical status, temperament, is the research. Without Veterinarians, Shelter Staff, Behaviorists there would be no knowledge of them. Would you go drive/buy that car without any knowledge of it??? Most of us would want to let “our” mechanic look at it first. (Unless you hit the Big Lotto, but even then, we KNOW you would purchase a shiny new transport vehicle for your local shelter) That’s Fostering. Fostering is finding out the “extras” or “add-ons”, the “tings”, the “rattle”. It is your Consumer Reports Car Information but for our fur babies. How they handle traffic, braking, ease of use, stereo system, suspension. For Shelter Pets this equates to being able to assess things like: do they like crowds, loud noises, being outside running after squirrels. Maybe they prefer laying curled up in your lap. The list goes on and on. Foster (researcher, remember Consumer Reports) helps detect these things. And it gets better! Fosters help troubleshoot and assist shelter pets in little “hiccups'' or “speed bumps” they might have, while freeing up space in the shelters. This not only frees up space in the shelter and life chances for others, it also brings less anxiety, more one on one time, more socializing, comfort, the feeling of being “safe”. Fostering nurtures, educates, calms, trains, socializes, and so much more. Fosters help facilitate these fur babies in becoming The Consumer Reports Top Rated Pet that we know they are! When you find yourself asking why foster, think of how helpful and how much you rely on someone’s facts, studies, testing, when purchasing something. Fostering is just that! I can only speak for myself but I