Grand Rivers Humane Society does not have a physical location for dogs so we rely solely on foster homes to determine how many animals we can pull from Mesa County Animal Services. When choosing animals for foster homes, we consider long-term residents and/or at risk of euthanasia due to overcrowding, animals in need of medical/surgical care, or scared animals who will not thrive at the shelter. Our Kitty Korner only has space for a set number of cats. Fosters are also crucial to shelters and rescues ability to help expectant female animals, by affording them a quiet and comfortable atmosphere to deliver puppies or kittens and care for them in those first weeks of crucial development.
Often times, certain animals may not "show" well in a kennel environment due to excess energy, or jockeying for attention as potential adopters walk by. While fostering a animal, you are able to provide exercise and stimulation, which in turn creates a calmer animal in the kennel which in many cases may be closer to what their behavior will look like in a home environment. In addition, you can work with the animal on leash training, house training, or other basic command training, that potential adopters will find attractive when looking for the perfect animal for their family.
Shelters and rescues often look to fosters for those animals who may have endured a difficult past such as abuse, cruelty, neglect, under-socialization, etc. As a foster, you have the chance and opportunity to gain a animals trust, show them human touch and love perhaps for the first time, provide an environment for them to feel safe, and watch them transform before your eyes.
If you have existing pets, introducing a animal can be a great experience for them as an additional companion, additional socialization, and an additional playmate! Children can benefit from fostering as a way to introduce responsibility, selflessness, a way to educate about animals, and it is also a great way to "test" the idea of a permanent animal into the home in the future.
Fellow fosters from the same shelter or rescue will help guide you through the experience, give ideas, answer any questions, and may even become your friends! There is nothing quite like sharing experiences with those who do the same and being part of a community of people who have similar passions.
When the day comes, that your foster finds that perfect home, the rewarding feeling you will experience is something very special. You will feel a sense of pride, in knowing what you helped that dog accomplish in his time with you. You will feel overjoyed, that he/she has found their forever family and a happy ending that all homeless animals so desire. And while certainly, some goodbyes can be tough, knowing that an animal has found their happy ending and that another precious life awaits to be afforded your gifts, is as good of a feeling as there is!