As we continue to see more animals needing homes, the concept of fostering animals has become more well-known in recent years. Because of the number of animals that are homeless in the United States, more shelters are beginning to rely on the generosity of fosters to provide some respite. Before diving into fostering in further detail, it is important to know what it means to foster animals.

What Does It Mean To Foster?
In its most basic terms, fostering refers to people who take care of animals temporarily while they help the shelters find a good, permanent home for the animals. In many cases, the animals that go into foster homes were previously abandoned and may be fighting a sickness or disease as a result. For animals that come into the foster home already sick, the first goal for the foster parents is to slowly help them become healthy again, often through medication and bottle-feeding. Once the animals are fully healthy and old enough, they can begin finding the animals permanent homes.

The Cost Of Fostering Animals
An important part of fostering that many may not think about beforehand is the financial commitment. In many instances, a person will foster through a rescue group in their area, which are typically non-profit organizations. As a result, they may not be able to cover all of the expenses that come with sick animals. While some rescue groups typically cover any veterinary costs, the foster parents will be responsible for things like food and cat litter. Determining your finances and setting a realistic budget can reduce the stress surrounding foster animals moving forward.

Emotional Attachment
For countless Americans, the idea of bringing animals into their home, caring for them, and then giving them away to permanent homes seems too overwhelming. The fear of becoming too attached is an ongoing issue with fostering animals. Before deciding to formally foster animals, it is important to be honest with yourself, and determine if you could realistically give the animals away once they find permanent homes. Knowing what your limit is can help you avoid a larger issue in the future.

Fostering animals can be a really meaningful experience when done correctly. Many foster parents find the process to be an overwhelmingly positive experience.