Why be a foster parent?

Do you love animals but might not be ready for a lifelong commitment? Fostering a pet from a local shelter can bring you more than just a taste of being a pet owner, and at the same time, you can also help save a life!
By Sheryl Lau
Published on Friday, 30 June 2017

 

So, what is fostering?

Fostering means bringing home a pet—dogs, cats or small animals—to provide them with a roof, food, love and the necessary health care in order to nurse them back to health. This goes on until a family comes to adopt them permanently, and that’s when they would have found their forever homes.

It’s crucial that you dedicate your time and love to care for these furry friends, as a good majority are rescued, abandoned or have been abused in the past. A good handful are also too young and need around-the-clock supervision and feeding.

While it might seem like a daunting task, making the choice to bring them into your lives might just be the best thing yet. Here’s why!

Save lives

Very often, shelters do not have the resources to house all the furkids they receive. This puts the animals at the risk of euthanasia. However, by being part of the fostering community, you can help local shelters shoulder some of these problems.

By opening up your homes, you help reduce the number of pets being euthanised. Plus, providing them with a comfortable living environment can be beneficial to their emotional and physical well-being, which will, in turn, help them find their forever home faster.

Show them love

Rescued animals have a difficult history before they were brought to the shelter, and this is the perfect opportunity for you to show them some love.

There’s a good chance that these animals were either abused, ill-treated or abandoned, so as a foster paw-rent, you can help these pets heal. By giving them a safe roof over their heads and treating them like your own, you are in fact rehabilitating these furkids and showing them what love is actually like.

But be patient! It might take some time for these furry friends to see the light. But when they do, they might even open up to you and love you the same kind of affection.

Values of life

Pets are not only good companions, but they teach us life lessons and values that we carry with us forever. The relationship we have with our furkids teaches us to be compassionate and patient. As a foster parent, you have to look beyond their needs and take the time to understand their personalities to better communicate with them. The constant interaction with your furkid will nurture these values in the long run.

If you have children, this would be the best opportunity to teach them the value of responsibility. Growing up with a pet will give them the confidence to care for their new friend. Activities such as feeding, basic grooming and daily walks will help your children understand that they are accountable for the livelihood of their pets.

Not only that, having a pet can help your kids develop an interest in animal studies, research or science and they might become the next Steve Irwin!

If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, organisations such as Cat Welfare Society (CWS), Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD), Causes for animals Singapore (CAS), SOSD, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) have fostering programmes available. If you would love to make the world a better place, this could be one way and in the process, you may gain a best friend.