3 reasons to become an animal foster

3 reasons to become an animal foster

by: Mary Christine Kane

Have you considered becoming a cat, dog or small animal foster? It’s never been a better time. Shelters are bursting with loving animals who need a safe place to land and a large number of people are having to surrender their pets due to hardship.

We invite you to join the 1,600 foster parents at Ruff Start who are making a difference in the lives of animals in need. In honor of National Foster a Pet Month, here’s some information to help you decide:

  1. It’s free. Food, vet and supply costs are completely covered by Ruff Start. We just ask that you help with transport of your foster to and from needed appointments.
  2. It’s rewarding. When you bring an animal into your home who has come from a difficult place such as a loud and cramped shelter or a home where they were stressed, it is life-changing for that animal and often saves their life. It’s also a joy to witness the transformation from tense and scared to relaxed and happy when you offer a warm, safe home and regular meals.
  3. It makes a difference. Foster-based rescues like Ruff Start are a critical part of managing animal populations and reducing animal suffering. In 2023, 6.5 million animals were brought into shelters and 850,000 did not leave, many of them euthanized. Others die before making it to a shelter. Our work relieves stress on shelters and our spay and neuter standards reduce the overall animal population. In addition to shelter support we are a safe haven for owner surrenders, strays and reservation partners.

How it works:

You are in control. With the help of seasoned Ruff Start guides, you choose the foster animal that fits your lifestyle and home. Then when it’s time, you help choose their forever home. If that ends up being your home, we will support you.

Fostering time varies. An animal may be with you for a couple of weeks or many months. It all depends on when the foster is ready, which we judge by their behavioral and physical health. If you would like to foster for a defined amount of time, consider temporary fostering. It’s an important role to cover vacations and other needed time away for foster guardians.

You receive support. As part of your onboarding as a cat, dog or small animal foster, we provide training. Once you are on our fostering team, you can join our online community to connect with other volunteers. We also have a team of medical and behavioral support staff to help you with your foster animal(s) and a database of helpful resources right at your fingertips.

Visit us online for more information.

We hope you will join our fostering team. Learn more about fostering on our website and sign up to foster today.