It’s no secret that having a pet is a very costly endeavor. There is of course the initial cost to buy the pet, which can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the breed and sire lines of the animal you are considering; however, you must also consider the ongoing costs of having a pet. These include food, toys, boarding if you go on vacation, grooming, and of course regular veterinary visits, and vaccinations. These costs can add up, and are outside the realm of what some people can actually afford. This can lead to a pet being surrendered to a shelter or rescue, or even to the pet being given away by means of a site like Kijiji or Craigslist. Surrendering an animal is hard on the owner and their family, but it is no picnic for the animal either because they don’t understand what’s happened. All the animal will be able to understand is the fact that you are gone. This can lead to severe bouts of depression and withdrawal for the animal.
The Financial Investment in Pet Ownership
When you consider your financial position fully and completely and evaluate truthfully whether you can support an animal or not, you may find that with your budget it just isn’t feasible. There are ways that you still could have a pet, and not have the burden of the expenses that go along with pet ownership. Fostering is a great way to have a pet and have the expenses carried by the organization that you are fostering the animal for.
What does it mean to foster an animal?
Fostering an animal is much like being a surrogate owner for animals that are under the care of a shelter or rescue organization. The reason that these places decide to look for foster homes for the animals vary, but generally the reasons are one or more of the following:
To help a surrendered or rescued animal reintegrate into a home life setting rather than stay locked in a cage until they are adopted,
To provide training to an animal who may have been surrendered due to a correctable issue.
To provide a safe and nurturing environment for a sick or injured animal that requires extra veterinary care.
Sorting through the myths!
A common misconception is that all surrendered animals have behavioral issues that could mean they bite or are aggressive. This can be true in some cases but animals are surrendered to shelters and rescues for a number of other reasons as well, such as:
The owners had a baby, and the baby has an allergy to the pet.
The owner can no longer care for the pet.
The owner does not have time for the pet.
The animal has an illness that requires care the owners cannot provide.
The owner decided that they didn’t want the animal after all.
The owner is moving and is unable to take the pet with them.
The animal was found wandering and the owner cannot be located.
This demonstrates that in many cases the animal would still make a wonderful pet for someone, but the owner they had was not that person.
The Benefits of Fostering an Animal
When you foster an animal you get the chance to do something really wonderful for a creature that will give you their heart unconditionally. You are offering the animal a chance at rehabilitation where necessary, and also a chance at a long and happy life with a family that will love and cherish the pet.
Fostering an animal is a great way to learn about caring for the pet and it’s also easier on your bottom line than buying a pet of your own. The reason for this is that the organization you are fostering the animal for covers the costs associated with the animal completely in most cases. This is possible thanks to donations of money, some vets donate their time, and pet food companies such as Royal Canin, donate food for the rescue to distribute among foster homes.
There are so many reasons to foster an animal, not the least of which is the fact that you will be giving an animal a second chance at happiness. Many rescues and shelters are desperately seeking new foster homes for animals, as the demand that is placed on them is more than they can handle, and that leads to animals being turned away. When animals are turned away from shelters and rescues, often they are dropped out on their own and many end up succumbing to traffic, and weather related fatalities. Fostering animals is not only good for your heart, but you might just save a life. It is definitely something worth considering.
This is a post by Ashley Williamson. Ashley is a freelance writer and an occasional guest-blogger and a full time pet lover. When she is not working she likes to travel and read as much as she can. If you have any question feel free to leave a comment.