Animal shelters and rescue groups always need more foster homes for animals.
Sometimes they need foster because they are full and do not have room for new rescue animals. At the local shelters, this can mean that more animals risk being euthanized to make room for newcomers. At rescue organizations it can mean rescuing fewer animals from the shelters where they risk being euthanized. The biggest reason to foster is that fostering saves lives. Another reason for fostering is that many animals are much happier and more relaxed in a home environment where they can interact with friendly patient people. This is especially true for the pets that lived in homes prior to being brought to the shelters. Relaxed and happy animals are easier to match with families for adoption. This is especially true during and after a natural disaster when many pets are displaced or abandoned. Because it is more relaxing in a home and the pets get more attention, fostered pets often pick up better habits such as crate training, potty training, and leash manners. They also get a lot more positive attention. Shelters can be very scary places to pets. Even the best of them are noisy and full of other terrified animals. The constant flow of strangers coming through can also be very frightening. Dogs that live in shelter kennels don’t always get regular walks and are forced to go potty in their kennel which can turn away prospective adopters when they see the pee and poo on the kennel floor. The pets can also spend hours alone without any human interaction because the volunteers are spread too thin. As much as they try to make sure the dogs get out regularly and get some attention, some days their aren’t enough volunteers to make that happen. I know this is the case at a local rescue group where I volunteered. Some days, I could look at the chart and there were often dogs that hadn’t gotten out for a walk in 24 hours. Fostering isn’t perfect but it is often much better than what the shelter can offer.
Because being in a foster home is so important to the pets and the rescue group, they make the program pretty easy and straightforward.