June is National Foster a Pet Month and local shelters, and rescues are always looking for fosters. According to the ASPCA, “Approximately 6.3 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year.” Fostering a pet is not only providing a loving and caring home but can also save a pet’s life. “Data tells us that if we could encourage 2% more of the 85 million pet-owning households to foster just one pet a year, we can eliminate preventable euthanasia and save the lives of the 800,000 shelter animals at risk of euthanization.” Says Susanne Kogut, President of Petco Love.
One of the easiest ways to be part of Foster a Pet Month is by supporting your local animal shelter or rescue. Whether you choose to volunteer your time, donate financially, or foster a pet in your home you can make a difference! Traditional fostering is generally short-term while preparing the animal for its forever home. This provides the animal a peaceful place to live outside of many already overcrowded shelters. You may be the first to teach it basic manners, commands, and socialization. You may also be the first to provide that animal with unconditional love and care and doesn’t every pet deserve that?
In addition to traditional foster care, there are also rescues that focus their efforts on fospice care. Fospice care is end-of-life care for shelter pets in loving and caring foster homes. These pets are often senior in age and may also have medical issues. Fospice care is given to these pets for the remainder of their lives. It allows them to live in loving homes while being cared for physically and emotionally with the assurance they pass with dignity and comfort which they are so deserving of. Being a fospice mom myself, I was fortunate to care for and love a senior dog with kidney disease for 4 short months a year ago and it was an experience that has never left my heart. I felt humbled to be able to provide him with what he was in need of and to let go when it was time, knowing he had been cared for and loved. I currently have another senior dog in my home and it brings me joy to know she’s happy and loved (and spoiled!).
These are two very different types of fostering and while fospice care may not be for you, maybe traditional foster care is or vice versa. What we know for sure is there are thousands of pets in need of the love, care, and safety of a foster home and there are families out there looking to provide that.
If fostering a pet is something that calls to your heart please reach out to your local animal shelter or rescue.
Nicole Patrizio, Board Member and Fospice Mom