May is foster care awareness month and VCA Animal Hospital is promoting the importance of pet foster care. Recent natural disasters in the U.S. increased the number of displaced and homeless animals.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 5 to 7 million pets are taken into animal shelters in the U.S. every year. VCA labels animal fostering as paving the way to successful adoption for an animal in need.
VCA Animal hospital says to serve as an animal foster caregiver, a person must have time, room and resources to dedicate to a foster pet in order for it to be a positive experience for all parties involved.
Foster care tips from VCA
Having the ability to say goodbye is an essential quality, according to Donna Spector, DVM, DACVIM, VCA. Fostering is a temporary situation until the pet finds a permanent home or is returned to its owner.
Patience is needed because animals in shelters or those who have been moved from home to home are often under tremendous stress. Animals might not be accustomed to cages or other animals. It is important that a foster care provider is gentle and patient with the animal and gives it extra attention.
“If a foster provider has other animals or children, introductions must be made gradually and with supervision,” Dr. Spector says. “Some foster pets will have had very poor nutrition or certain medical conditions that have not been properly addressed depending on the circumstances from where they came. Although the medical care is usually paid for, there will be a time commitment if you need to make several trips to a veterinary clinic.”
Local animal shelters can typically provide information about foster care programs.