Would you like a pet, but without the responsibility of a lifetime commitment? Then, consider becoming a pet foster parent! According to CBS News, half of the animal shelters in North America have been using foster programs for years. Hurricane Katrina caused a surge in popularity, when a lot of people took in the pets of homeless storm victims. Betsy Saul, founder of PetFinder.com, says that foster parents literally save the lives of these pets. Volunteers take in abandoned puppies and kittens, and care for them until they’re weaned and socialized, and old enough to be adopted. They also take in sick, injured, abused, or neglected animals that need more TLC than they can get at a shelter, until they’re healthy enough for a permanent home.
According to the article, one family in Illinois is now fostering their 91st puppy! Another woman routinely takes litters of tiny kittens to work in a towel-filled box, and feeds them while she’s making business calls.
Pet foster parents volunteer their time, and pay for basic needs, like food, bedding and toys. The shelter pays all of the medical expenses. However, there’s one big drawback: You might fall in love with the animal you’re fostering and decide to adopt them yourself! To find a list of animal shelters in your area, log onto the website PetFinders.com.