Eight months ago I moved to San Antonio from El Paso, looking for more opportunities for my family and me. I came and found a great city with lots to do and lots to see, but I also found a city with a large amount of stray dogs and an over populated city animal shelter. I wanted to help, but I had a one and half year old and a Labrador/Corgi mix that loved to chew on anything he could get. I wanted him to have a friend, but thought that we probably weren’t ready to adopt another four-legged child. So I thought maybe I could do some volunteer work with an animal rescue and have my dog socialize with other dogs there. After doing some research with different dog organizations in the city I came across Fostering.
I found that many animal shelters and rescues offer a Foster Program for their dogs. What is fostering you ask? Well, fostering is an awesome way for you to help a dog in need for a temporary amount of time. Fostering a dog is a very rewarding experience. You open up your heart and home to a furry friend, offer food and show them what a home really feels like. When you foster a dog you open up another space for a dog at the shelter or rescue. Some shelters still euthanize, so fostering is a great way to buy a dog some time to find a home.
There are many reasons that rescue organizations offer a Foster Program. The most frequent reason is lack of shelter space. For rescues with a physical building, fostering frees up kennel space to offer to another dog in need. Some rescues are foster based, so they do not have a physical building to house their dogs and rely solely on foster homes. Some dogs that come to rescues are too young to be adopted out, injured, sick or recovering from surgery. Fostering offers a home environment to grow or recover before heading for their forever home. Every rescue has its own procedures and policies about fostering. It is best to contact your local rescue to go over any questions that you might have. Visit http://www.aspca.org/findashelter to find a rescue near you. If you are in the San Antonio area you can visit SA ROCKS FOSTER PROGRAM.
Needless to say, I signed up to be a proud foster parent. Warning, warning! Once you become a foster parent you might just fall in love. Foster failures are common in the foster community, which means you love your foster so much you adopt them yourself. I now have three dogs that I love and could never let go.