Animal Matters

So, after last week’s article you may have applied to be a foster carer and now you are faced with a new arrival.

What do you need to consider when taking on a foster animal? Do you fully understand the needs of the foster animal and what is being asked of you? Are you dedicated to helping the animal in your care and do you have the time and patience to help with whatever behavioural issues the animal may show?

The most important thing to remember is that fostering can potentially be a long term commitment. We often get people asking to foster an animal for a weekend, but for some animals this can be very unsettling and can have negative effects. Frequent changes create uncertainty and stress and will rarely help an animal who may be fearful or distressed. Your new arrival may need to stay with you for weeks, months or even years!

I am currently fostering Zak, a four-year-old Staffordshire/Labrador cross who was so stressed living in rescue kennels that he was starting to lose his fur. He’s only been with me for four weeks but already he’s more relaxed and his fur is growing back.

Being in a foster home also means he can get some dedicated one-to-one training to help with his nervousness when meeting new people and around roads and traffic.

With these issues being dealt with in his foster home, Zak’s chances of finding a permanent home should be greatly improved. He can’t go back into the kennels as he would just regress so he will stay with me and continue his training until he finds his forever home, whenever that may be.

Could you consider fostering a dog like Zak? Or perhaps a vulnerable highly dependent elderly cat where the owner has died or gone into care?