If you are someone who cares about animals, you probably know that there are so many pets living in overcrowded shelters all around the world who need a good loving home. Every year in the United States, around 6.3 million animals enter shelters and 920,000 shelter animals are euthanized.
As an animal welfare advocate, Amy Elliot-Meisel spends her free time volunteering with local animal rescue initiatives and fostering shelter dogs. If you want to help animals, you too can foster pets – but what is it exactly?
Fostering pets is different from pet adoption because you are providing temporary shelter for the animal until they can be adopted by their forever family. Pet fosterers are needed desperately for a variety of reasons:
- They help to relieve overcrowding in shelters and can save animals from being euthanized
- Many pets often need extra care that can’t be provided at a shelter
- If a pet has been abused in the past, a pet fosterer can help them form healthy bonds with people again
- Pet fosterers can help provide an animal with house training so they are more likely to be adopted
- Pets who are still too young to be adopted can go to a foster home
- Some animals experience a lot of stress in a shelter environment and are better suited for a quieter home environment
- Some pets may need to be fostered following a natural disaster or military deployment and are waiting to be reunited with their family
- Nursing cats and dogs often need to be fostered with their babies in a home environment