You don’t need experience to be a foster parent! Just love in your heart and the desire to help. Every time a new foster parent steps forward and says, “I want to help!”, it means a life has been saved. Your job is an important one. Many of our foster parents have children, cats and dogs of their own, so don’t let a busy home life deter you from helping. The cats and dogs need you!
Fostering is an ideal activity for people that love animals but cannot commit to having a lifelong pet. In fact, every additional foster parent that PAWS can get represents in most cases the difference between life and death for animals abandoned in our streets, removed from a life of abuse or neglect, and loneliness. Aside from regular day-to-day care (feeding, grooming, exercise), the responsibilities of a foster home may include basic training (housetraining, walking on leash, etc); behavior modification (to correct problems such as jumping, mouthing, barking, destructive chewing, dashing through doors, etc); socialization and temperament evaluation (to determine whether the dog or cat is good with different types of people and other animals); medical care (dispensing medication, taking the animal to vet appointments), and of course plenty of playtime and snuggling.
PAWS pets range from kittens & puppies to senior cats & dogs.
Companion pets in need of foster homes range in age from puppies to seniors, with the majority in the 2-5 year old range. They come in ever breed and color. Our cats and dogs are neutered or spayed before they are placed into foster homes. Sometimes, the spay or neuter will be scheduled shortly after a pet is placed into a foster home so that they can recover in the peacefulness of a home, unless there is a medical reason for waiting.
Foster care is essential to the success of PAWS.
Since we do not have a shelter, we depend solely on the help of foster parents to take care of kittens, cats, puppies and dogs until they are adopted. The more foster parents we have, the bigger the number of unfortunate cats and dogs we can help. Our network of foster homes can take a dog or cat in and give them the care and training they need: the one that can only be accomplished at home.
It is a hugely rewarding experience to give a lost, abandoned, mistreated, or unwanted cat or dog a second chance to recover its health, as well as to provide him with love and affection while he/she is waiting to get a permanent loving home. The most amazing thing is that rescued animals respond to your care with lots of love—they cannot talk, but certainly they show how much they appreciate all your efforts. Fostering a dog or cat may seem like a formidable task, but it is a very tangible way to make a difference.
Everyone benefits: the foster parent gets to spend time with a special dog or cat, while we get valuable help with rescued animals. The foster dog or cat gets a break from a very hard life of abandonment or neglect, and a second chance at becoming a cherished pet. Then, the new owners get a dog or cat that is better adapted to home life, and therefore has a better chance of remaining in the new home forever.
Foster homes heal the mind and body.
Pets reduce stress and anxiety! According to some studies, interacting with a dog or cat is a profound and effective stress reducer. It increases feelings of contentment and relaxation. Not for nothing dogs are described as man’s best friend! (even though for some people this applies to their cats!). Walking and/or playing with a pet is an effective mean of spending quality time at home, make exercise, reduce stress and anxiety, forget about the problems of the day—and to give your foster cat or dog lots of love, exercise and entertainment! Please consider to be a foster parent—abandoned animals will appreciate your help with all their hearts!
PAWS always need more foster parents.
For you it is a great way to have a “temporary” pet if you cannot adopt, or want to have a furry companion in general or if your own pet needs a friend to play and have company. By being a foster parent you get a companion and help save an animal at the same time! We also need “special care” foster parents who are willing to take the sick, pregnant or kittens/puppies that require bottle feeding on a regular basis every day.
We are always grateful to foster parents because it takes dedication, time and love. When you see a five-day old kitten or puppy survive because of the efforts that a foster parents make, it is a wonderful feeling of accomplishment!
Remember, more foster homes means the ability to rescue more cats and dogs in need in our St Croix Valley communities.