Some rescues use a network of foster parents to help keep animals safe and to ensure their success. Foster programs exist for many different animals from rats, to cats and dogs and even larger animals such as horses.
Foster programs essentially rely on individuals, couples and families who are knowledgeable and passionate and willing to take in abandoned, neglected, homeless or stray animals. Foster parents provide temporary but stable care for these animals. They take the animals into their home and make them part of their family and routines as though they are their own pets.
These stable households provide a second chance to animals that could otherwise never have any semblance of a life. Fostering is rewarding and gratifying. Once the animal is healthy, stable and confident, they become adoptable and are able to find their forever home and family. Foster parents obligations constitute providing a healthy and happy home, the rescue often provides the food, crate, and supplies, meaning there is very little financial obligation on the fosters part.
Requirements to become a foster parent include an age requirement, which depends on location; if you have a family pet, you must prove they are healthy and up to date on their vaccinations; fosters must often undergo a home visit to ensure their home is suitable for a pet; fosters may also be asked to undergo a police background check.
Fostering requirements differ from shelter to shelter, city to city and even state to state. Check with your local shelter or rescue and inquire about the requirements or eligibility requirements. Do your research on the foster programs and make sure you know what the responsibility and requirements from you are to ensure you have the time, patience and resources to ensure the animal in question is being set up for success.