Have you ever thought about fostering a pet? The animal shelters like the SPCA rely on foster parents to give animals a second shot at life by helping restore them back to good health while they recover from surgery, illness or neglect.
Being a pet foster parent can be a great alternative to volunteering as you can directly see the positive impact your love and attention has on an animal that really needs it.
Fostering pets short-term
While the SPCA is at pains to point out that every animal is different, foster homes for cats are usually needed for between three to five weeks. Dogs may need to stay a little longer, up to six weeks. Once they are back to full health, the cats or dogs return to the SPCA animal village and are put up for adoption.
Depending on the pets you have at home, you can choose whether or not to take just adults or kittens and puppies and also whether you want to care for sick animals or just look after healthy ones. You can also stipulate whether you will foster all year round or just at key holiday times when a lot of animals are abandoned.
Foster pet parents need to have their own transport so they can pick up the animals and return to the SPCA for vet visits if need be. They also need to have a secure area like a spare bedroom, laundry, bathroom or sunroom to keep their foster pets contained and safely away from any pets you may already own. Foster cats and kittens need to be kept inside at all times.
Practical support for foster pet parents
The SPCA tries to make it as easy as possible for foster pet parents by removing many of the financial costs usually involved in caring for pets. First-time foster pet parents receive training and help and support from the Foster Team is just a phone call away. The SPCA supplies all the pet food, litter, litter trays, bedding, toys, bowls and anything else they may have on hand to make the animals comfortable during their stay at a foster home. SPCA vets also provide medical care and medication when required.
Being an SPCA pet Foster Parent is a rewarding experience that gives you the opportunity to meet and help many wonderful animals that deserve a second chance.