Posted by: secondchancehumanesociety | July 14, 2010

Fostering a Second Chance

Cool Clyde Loves his Foster Home

Fostering a pet in need of shelter, love, and guidance requires some extra time and space in your home and heart but it is one of the most rewarding ways to help homeless pets.  Homeless pets often arrive at the Second Chance Shelter with varying special medical or behavioral issues that are best transformed through a consistent and secure home environment.  Or, a pet may be placed in foster care simply because they are too young or the Shelter is temporarily short on space. 

The Humane Society of the United States, Animal Sheltering magazine published an article written by a foster care veteran of 20+ years, Melissa Bahleda.  She wrote that,  “Providing a stepping stone for animals in search of permanent homes saves lives, alleviates the strain on animal shelters, helps set the stage for successful adoptions, and teaches you the skills that will enable you to help other animals in need.” 

My name is Clyde and I am currently in foster care and I couldn’t agree more with Melissa.  I was transferred to Second Chance from a shelter where I had been since last November.  Having a break from the shelter environment has done wonders to my self esteem, attitude, and connections to people. 

Additionally, my foster placement will provide long term benefits, pets who are adopted after being in foster homes are less likely to develop bad behaviors or become overly stressed in their new adoptive homes, and thus, less likely to be returned to the shelter.

I know this all sounds wonderful but, before committing to this level of volunteerism with Second Chance, you should assess whether this service would fit your lifestyle and household.  Is your home environment safe, healthy, and spacious enough to foster a pet without throwing your household into chaos and discontent?

 Of course the level of space and the amount of time a pet needs varies between each pet.  Some will require more attention than others in learning proper household manners and/or how to develop trust with new families.  These are issues that those interested in fostering pets can discuss with the Shelter Manager at Second Chance.  It is the Shelter Manager’s job to match your lifestyle and experience with the appropriate pets.

Many worry about the emotional attachment involved in fostering – and whether they will be able to let the pet go when it is time to return to the shelter or go to their new adoptive home.  Second Chance counsels people in this situation to focus upon how they have helped the pet along and how other foster pets will be needing this same assistance.  Knowing that Second Chance takes care in making appropriate matches between pets and adoptive families can also provide comfort to foster families.

Other benefits to fostering are in promoting your foster pet for adoption.  Many foster pets find their new forever families while accompanying a foster parent on outings to the park or other community gatherings. 

Second Chance Humane Society is currently looking for foster homes for a variety of pets such as elder cats, young kittens, and under-socialized dogs.  Foster care periods typically depend upon the need of the pet or available space at the shelter. Contact the Second Chance Shelter Manager, Heather Hart, today to learn more about becoming a foster parent.

Call the Second Chance Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter Financial Assistance, Volunteer & Foster Care, or other Programs.  Visit our shelter pets online: www.secondchancehumanesociety.org.  Direct Pet Column questions to:  kelly@secondchancehumanesociety.orgPhoto by Real Life Photographs.

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