A sweet senior cat waiting to be adopted is getting overlooked because of his age. A dog who got hit by a car and needs to recover from surgery. A nursing mother cat with a litter of tiny kittens. A goofy, rambunctious puppy waiting to grow old enough to find his home. What do all of these animals have in common? They would all benefit from having a foster like you!
This season of giving, if you’re looking to help your community and save lives, consider fostering—welcoming a shelter cat or dog to your home temporarily, while they are on their journey to adoption.
Fostering is a lifesaving way to give back to your community’s animals (and to give yourself a happiness boost, too). You give them a break from the shelter, and you get to experience the love of a furry companion. It’s a win-win situation.
Now more than ever, animal shelters nationwide need foster caregivers, as organizations struggle with the number of animals in their facilities, including us at Better Together Animal Alliance. For the third year in a row, adoption rates in U.S. shelters are not keeping up with intake rates, meaning facilities have too many animals in their care, according to 2023 data released by Shelter Animals Count. Fostering is the perfect way to help.
Foster caregivers provide animals with a temporary home, basic care, and love—and sometimes more involved care like training or medical treatment. All kinds of cats and dogs need foster homes, and organizations often have both short- and long-term opportunities. The organization you foster for can help you find the right match. At Better Together Animal Alliance, we have more than 1,000 animals who need foster homes each year before they get adopted. We provide our foster families with all the supplies and support they need for success.
Without foster programs, animal shelters would not be able to help as many animals and provide the care they need. Here are the top three reasons why fostering is so important and saves animals’ lives.
- Fostering gets animals out of a stressful environment. Some cats and dogs do fairly well in shelters, while others experience high levels of fear or anxiety. No matter how nice we make our facilities, kennels are no substitute for a home. The sights, smells and sounds of busy shelters can be stressful to animals, which is detrimental to their well-being and can create or exacerbate behavior challenges.
- Fostering can ensure animals’ health. Because shelters house numerous animals, illnesses can easily spread. Plus, since animals may be more stressed in shelters, it can be easier for them to get sick. Getting out of the shelter is much better for animals with any kind of medical treatment going on.
- Fostering helps animals who are still in the shelter. When animals go to foster homes, it means shelter workers and volunteers can spend more time caring for and socializing with animals still in the shelter, improving those animals’ quality of life. It also helps make space in the shelter for other cats and dogs who need to come in, allowing facilities to help more animals. As an added bonus, this all can alleviate stress on the employees and volunteers in animal shelters, many of which are currently overcapacity and understaffed, like us at BTAA.
If you can open up your home during the holiday season for a cat or dog, consider fostering through Better Together Animal Alliance. We, and the animals, thank you! Sign up and learn more at bettertogetheranimalalliance.org/foster.
PHOTO: Blue is one of the many dogs at BTAA who is living with a loving foster family while waiting to be adopted.