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Fostering a pet could be better than owning one

Brianna+Horne
Brianna Horne

Brianna Horne

Brianna Horne

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Many animals are born and adopted almost immediately. They are taken home to be loved and cared for for what could be the rest of their lives.

But what about those pets who aren’t adopted or don’t have a home their whole life?

Some of them go to foster families. A lot like fostering a child, fostering a pet is when a person takes in animals from a shelter or a foster program and takes care of them until they find their forever home.

Here are 10 reasons why fostering a pet is better than owning one.

1) You’ve got help coming

Pets are expensive, and not everyone can afford to have a furry, scaly, or feathered friend to spend time with.

However, some foster programs will help pay for food and toys to help take the weight off of the foster family. This is surely a plus for anyone who wants a pet and can’t necessarily afford one.

Fostering a pet has proved to be a much cheaper alternative to owning one

2) You’re saving a life

Shelters fill up extremely quickly with all the strays and unwanted pets of the world. While some shelters are no-kill, others have to euthanize the animals to make more space.

Sometimes you are the only thing saving them from that death. By keeping them in your home, you are giving them the time that they need to find the home that they fit into.

Buying a new pet is only encouraging breeders to bring new animals into the world, which means more pets that go into shelters.

3) You can feel good about it

You know you are helping a living thing and it makes you feel great. You’re saving the life of an innocent animal and you feel like a hero.

That’s OK because you are a hero.

While bragging is normally frowned upon, this is one thing you can brag about with pride.

You also get to meet so many new animals in foster care. Instead of owning just one or two for a few years, you can see several come and go, knowing all the while that they are going to good homes.

4) Another animal gets the care it needs

While you are saving the life of the pet you’re fostering, you also free up a new spot in the shelter for a stray or unwanted pet to get a chance at any treatment it needs and, eventually, adoption.

Not just one, but two animals benefit from your choice to foster a pet.

5) Pets need time to recover

Sometimes foster pets were abused in previous homes. By taking them in, you offer them the time they need to get over that scar — physical or emotional.

Perhaps you have the healing touch for that animal and by the time you show them your love and affection, they’ll be able to trust and play again. With your help, they can learn to love and trust humans despite the treatment they received in the past.

6) They’ll get the attention they need

In a shelter, animals don’t get the human contact they get in a home. There are so many animals and not enough staff and volunteers to interact with every animal every day. Without this care, they can become antisocial and afraid of people. That makes them either hard to adopt or unadoptable.

If you foster an animal, you can give them daily attention and give them all the cuddles they want. By the time they leave, they can be adopted confidently by another family who will give them attention for the rest of their life.

7) You learn responsibility

You are responsible for making your foster animal feel comfortable and taking care of them. You have to know what to feed them and when, you have to develop a routine, and you have to clean up after them.

You can show others what it means to have a pet and let them experience the amount of work it takes.

All of this teaches the meaning of taking responsibility for a living creature.

After all, you might have a family someday.

8) You will love them

Just like with any other pet, a foster pet is lovable. No matter how much trouble they cause or how often they keep you up at night, they will love you like you love them.

The love you show them will reflect back on you equally.

Even if it takes time, they will warm up to you and take care of you.

9) Saying goodbye is good for them

When you say goodbye to a foster animal, you know they are going to be where they belong.

They’ve been meant to go there the whole time, sometimes they just take a little detour. You can think of your home as a pit stop on their journey to the family that will love and adore them.

It’s also good for you. We have to learn to say goodbye to many things in our lives — other people, our belongings, and our pets. Letting go of foster pets, time after time, allows you to adjust to the emotional roller coaster that you experience every time.

10) If you know you’re going to miss them …

That animal, no matter how big or small, has imprinted on your heart forever. You will never forget that cute face or personality that each and every animal possesses. In the time they’ve been with you, they’ve harnessed your heart.

Each animal has a story, and you know that better than anyone. Maybe you know that no one will be able to love and care for them the way that you do.

You don’t want to let go, and you don’t really have to. If you love them enough, you can become a “foster failure.”

Although it might sound awful, foster failure isn’t a bad term. It just means that you can’t bear to see them living anywhere else and so you adopt and hold onto your new pet forever.

While fostering a pet is better than owning one, owning a pet that you’ve fostered is even better.

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The student news site of Kearsley High School in Flint, Michigan
Fostering a pet could be better than owning one