|Pinky was once in a foster home|
But in addition, all costs are covered by the animal rescue organization. The foster family gets the love, the joy, and the rewards, while the rescue group takes care of the food, the vet care, and the pet adoption. To me, that sounds like a pretty amazing deal.
But for some reason--that I just can't understand--no one wants to foster. Or, the few that do, often back-out shortly thereafter. You may be thinking: "At least they offered to help, even if only for a short time. It's better than nothing." Well, let me explain the bigger issue behind those short-term, suddenly-can't-foster-this-dog-anymore, foster back-outs.
When a family offers to foster for Lucky Dog Rescue, it's a truly amazing act. First of all, fostering presents an incredible opportunity for the rescue dog... a chance to have the love and comfort of a home environment-- often, for the very first time in their lives. Further, foster homes are able to provide the dog with one-on-one attention and socialization... the critical elements needed to improve their chances of pet adoption.
You may ask: "But can't the dogs just get that stuff at the animal shelter? Why do you need foster homes for that?" Well, many rescue dogs have endured years of horrific abuse, leaving them with broken hearts and various issues. These dogs need extra-special love and attention, the kind that foster families can provide them.
|Missy used to live in a foster home.|
If you lived in a tiny cage for an extended period of time... trust me, you'd go crazy, too. Dogs are meant to walk, and run, and play. They are not meant to live in dog kennels forever, and over time, they slowly lose their minds. But foster homes can prevent this problem...you can prevent this problem. (Note: Lucky Dog Rescue pups get plenty of walks and outside playtime, to prevent "kennel rage" from developing. But so many rescue dogs... just aren't that lucky.)
Okay... so, I've given you lots of reasons why fostering is important. But there's another amazing aspect of fostering, from an animal rescue standpoint. When a rescue pup goes to a foster home, a dog kennel opens up at the animal shelter. This is crucial, because now we have room to save another life. And trust me, at Lucky Dog Rescue, there's always another broken dog ready to fill that spot... immediately.
So, when someone opens their home to a foster dog, they also offer hope to another dog as well. Pretty amazing, right? Cool dog. Free love. Healing hearts. Saving lives.
Well, yes... until that foster home decides that they can't keep the dog anymore, and suddenly brings them back to the animal shelter. At that point, there's no longer a spot for this dog. There's no where for them to go. As soon as this foster dog left, that dog kennel was immediately taken by another pup with no other hope. Sure, rescues could choose to reject all other dogs, for fear of foster back-outs... but then, no other lives could ever be saved.
|Diamond needs another foster home|
So, when a foster dog comes back, for no real reason... it's beyond frustrating and stressful for rescuers like me. Of course, we'd never turn away our own rescue baby, so we're forced to make space... where there is no space. We're forced to do more... with no more to give. And we're forced to question the reliability of every single person that offers us help.
But also... we're forced to mend a heart re-broken, when that foster dog feels abandoned, once again.
And ultimately, fewer lives are saved... because there are just too few foster homes. That's the heartbreaking reality here. If every animal lover would just foster one dog, MILLIONS of lives could be saved every year.
But without fosters... millions die. If you don't like it, do something about it. Foster.
And please, don't back out.