Monday, September 22, 2008

Tips on fostering dogs

Thanks to Jackie at Safe Haven Rescue for sending the following tips on fostering. I told her that I know many people (such as my husband) avoid becoming fosters because it's too hard to part with an animal you've grown to love - and after 4 or 5 you just can't keep more!

I also asked her to give us some advice about introducing new foster dogs into the family - because that's a second reason people give for not becoming fosters. They're afraid their resident dogs (or cats) would not cooperate.

Here's what Jackie had to say about it:

"As far as fostering, I know that if I keep all of them, I would not be able to help more. I have a 17 year old daughter and she was like your husband. I took her to adoptions and she could see who was looking to adopt. When she helped with the selection of who could have one of the animals, it seemed to help."

"Now the tough question. How to introduce the new animal. I usually keep them in a crate in the house or yard where the other critters can check them out without any threat. Then I take one of mine with the new one and let them get acquainted without all the others. If I leave all the others out, there is sometimes the "pack" mentality even though they are not mean. They just think "Hey we can all jump on the new guy"."

"As I said that is the tough part, but when I look at all the pleas for help, I know that I do more by fostering and then those eyes are more bearable. How unfair to all of those precious lives that they cannot live longer."

"If we could just REQURE spay/neuter, we would not have this problem."

I agree with Jackie - spay and neuter are the answer to creating a world with "No more homeless pets."

Here's to our 4-legged friends,

P.S. If you're a foster and have tips to share, please post a comment. If you're thinking of fostering and have questions, post them too!

P.P.S. The dog in the photo is Buddy Joe - a Priest River Animal Rescue dog who was simply left behind when his people decided to move away. He's young, healthy, and anxious to play.


Christine Michaels said...

Marte, I do have a true story to share. One day as I was walking from my office to bakery for breakfast & I noticed a gray tail in a trashcan. I discovered two newborn kittens. Can you believe someone would place kittens in a trashcan--they were sitting in a box!! I took them home and nurtured them but kept them separate from the dog and two cats. Ma Cherie, my dog is very motherly. Jean Pierre watched in fascination. But the baby, Pepe Francois, did not want anything to do with them. He was jealous of the new babies (P. Francois is 4 years old) After six weeks of feeding cat's milk from a bottle and teaching them to use litter, they were strong, healthy, playful kittens. They were too much for me, I was ready to give them to their new parents who I interviewed thoroughly--my coworkers. Your friend Jackie is so right! Fostering is absolutely rewarding and I would do it again. CHRISTINE

Marte said...

Thanks for sharing Christine - I remember when you got those kitties and your Mom was helping you feed them while you were away at work in the daytime.

And yes, I believe kittens in a trash can. Our animal rescue retrieved puppies from the dumpsters when the temp outside was near zero.

Some humans have no humanity. So let's be thankful for all who do - and all who rescue cats and dogs both young and old.

You know - people like you and Jackie!

Thanks, from me and from the critters,