If you are an animal lover looking for a way to make a difference in the lives of dogs or cats, fostering might be just the thing for you.
Fostering is perhaps one of animal welfare’s most vital yet underrated aspects and is a form of support that Friendicoes values greatly. It is a temporary care arrangement when an animal in need is placed under the care of a foster or a foster family until they can, in the best-case scenario, be rehomed with their forever family. Friendicoes and other animal welfare organisations frequently rely on foster support and we are always looking to expand this indispensable network. Here’s everything you need to know if you’d like to register yourself as an animal foster with us!
Fosters to the rescue
Friendicoes fosters are typically called upon in situations of shelter overcrowding. Limited space and resources force us to seek alternate housing for non-critical and well-adjusted rescue animals to shift their focus to those needing immediate care or treatment. By reducing the burden on our shelter, fosters offer us the means to provide one animal with a chance at a better life and another with a higher chance of survival.
In other cases, abandoned or mistreated animals require safe spaces to heal and recuperate from their trauma and require special care and attention. Wary of others and often anxious or reactive, they depend on a foster home environment as they are unlikely to survive, let alone thrive, in the communal environment we provide.
However, the most critical situation arises during deadly outbreaks of infectious diseases such as parvo or distemper. In such scenarios, young, old and vulnerable animals living in close quarters at a shelter are at high risk of fatality. By providing immediate relocation for those at risk, foster families are doing nothing short of saving lives.
When should you consider being a foster?
There are many reasons to consider joining the Friendicoes foster community. Along with a genuine desire to help an animal in need and provide support to a shelter, other factors might drive you to open your home to a furry guest:
If your lifestyle is not conducive to a pet in the long-term
If you’re an animal lover with an unpredictable travel schedule or any other deterring factor keeping you from adopting a pet, fostering could be your answer. You’ll have a chance to fulfil your desire to care for an animal while providing a safe environment for a needy furry friend.
If you want firsthand experience of pet parenthood
Owing to the disturbingly high rates of pet abandonment, fostering also offers an ethical means of gaining first hand experience in caring for and raising a dog or cat without any lasting negative consequences, given the temporary nature of the arrangement. By signing up for this crash course in pet parenthood, you get an opportunity to learn about animal behaviour and make an informed decision about adopting, all while making a real difference in the life of your foster pet. (And who knows, you may even end up with a foster fail – fingers crossed!)
What are the responsibilities and expenses involved?
While Friendicoes welcomes fosters into the community with open arms, it’s important to be aware of all that your role would entail. As a foster parent, you would have multiple responsibilities towards the animal in your care. Make no mistake, fostering is not (just) a walk in the park, and although temporary, you would be required to:
As for the expenses, the shelter or rescue organisation you are associated with may provide some support, monetary or in the form of basic supplies, if they can. However, in most cases, owing to a resource shortage, it would fall upon the foster to cover most of the expenses for essentials like food, bedding, accessories, toys and medical care. Suppose you plan to be a regular foster? In that case, it’s essential to budget for routine checkups, vaccinations and emergency care, and any additional costs related to the animal’s special needs or training (for example, supplements, behavioural training, or medical procedures beyond basic care).
Becoming a Friendicoes foster
At Friendicoes, we truly believe that fostering can be a highly enriching experience. It gives you a way to make a real difference in an animal’s life, and by providing them with a safe haven in their time of need, you are partaking in an act of kindness beyond measure. With a bit of love, care, and patience, you can help a dog or cat find their forever family.
If you want to become an animal foster parent in India, several organisations can help you get started. Contact your city’s local animal welfare organisation or rescue group to learn more about the fostering process and the animals that need temporary homes. You may be asked to complete an application and attend a training session to ensure you’re ready to take on the responsibility. If you’re in the Delhi NCR region and wish to sign up as a Friendicoes foster, contact us here to understand the formalities – https://friendicoes.org/#contact