ARF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit
Fostering is a very rewarding experience for everyone involved. Not only do foster parents nurture and care for their charges; they really share the experience with the animals, receiving lots of nurture and care right back!
ARF has a continuous stream of animals coming into our facility and are always in need of foster families. When a family offers to foster one of our pets, it creates an opening for the next animal in need. Our foster parents are a vital piece of the rescue process and we are deeply indebted to them for their willingness to welcome new animals into their lives.
Choosing to be a foster parent is a serious undertaking. It will change your routine and your own companion animals will need to be okay with it. Many people faced with homeless animals tell themselves, "It's not my problem", "It's not my fault", "It's so sad, but there's nothing I can do". Well, fortunately, there is something you can do without making a lifetime commitment.
So why in the world would any sane human being volunteer to be a foster parent for an animal that isn't their responsibility? Why would someone take on that responsibility? Why would anyone want to give up their spare bedroom, bathroom, laundry room, etc. and take on responsibility for a pet they will eventually place in someone else's home?
People who choose to foster do so because they know that if they don't step up to the plate, the fate of these animals is either sub-par living conditions or death. They feel good knowing they are making a difference, every minute and every day, in the life of an innocent soul; that a few months of inconvenience turns quickly into a rewarding, educational, challenging, and fun experience they will never forget. While it's true that fosters do get very attached to their animals, they also find a special joy in sending a pet to a wonderful new family.
Many families foster as a way to teach their children about compassion and responsibility in a creative and collaborative way. We have had parent-child partnerships take on nursing bottle babies or moms with litters, as a tag-team effort with joyous results. Parents who homeschool have also found that fostering is a great teaching endeavor for their family.
"When I tell people that I foster animals, I usually hear the same
response. “I couldn’t ever do that. I would become too attached to the
dogs and want to keep them all.”
The truth is you will become attached,
you will love them all and that’s the whole point. That love and attention
is what helps make them more adoptable pets and better family members.
When it’s time to let them go, you know that you’ve been an integral par
of helping them to live a better life for the long run. It makes all of
that effort (and sometimes heartache) worth it in the end." - Melissa