Volunteers of the Month for January 2018: Foster Homes

Julia D Volunteer of the Month

Our fosters are very important people! Yes, we have the Adoption Center where we house some animals but foster homes are preferable for the animals. They get to know the animals so we can better find forever homes that will be good matches. While in the foster homes, the fosters learn about the animals’ personalities and quirks and have an opportunity to teach the animals how to live in a home and some basic commands (like “sit” and “down”). They learn how the animal reacts to other animals, kids, strangers, etc. Some animals we take in are a little damaged emotionally and need some extra TLC or perhaps have never lived inside a home before and need to learn some house manners.

Our fosters step up and take in these animals and take on the responsibility of caring for them on a daily basis. But most of all they commit to loving them because love heals a lot. It’s not easy to let them go when they get their forever homes, but the rewards are worth it. They know that they were an important part of saving the animal’s life and they deserve to be loved and adored in a forever home. So we send out a big THANK YOU to all the people who foster for Last Hope. We couldn’t do it without you!

If you’ve ever thought of fostering, here are some reasons why you should seriously consider it:

1. It Provides an Alternative to Shelter Environments. Even the best animal shelters are still shelters which, in general, are very stressful places. They can be noisy, the animals don’t get as much attention, and they are full of strange animals with differing personalities. They are cared for by different people so there isn’t as much continuity as in a home environment. By fostering a pet you help them avoid the kennel that can be very overwhelming for some animals.

2. It Gives the Animal a Chance to Improve. Some animals come to us with issues that likely would not adequately be addressed in a kennel situation. However, when these at-risk animals are rescued and put into foster homes they can be given the training, medical attention, and overall specialized treatment that they need. Thanks to cooperation between the foster, veterinarian, trainer, and whoever else is involved, this combined effort will enable the animal to be rehabilitated and adopted into a forever home successfully!

3. It Literally Saves the Animal’s Life. We can’t take in a homeless animal unless we have a place for them to go. Sometimes we have to turn animals away because we don’t have a foster for them. So when a foster does step up and take in an animal, they are saving that animal’s life. And it’s an amazing feeling to know that.

4. It Provides Terminally Ill Animals with a Peaceful End. Although it is sad, being a “forever foster” for a terminally ill animal is a great way to provide a loving soul with a joyful end to their life. Not all animals are adoptable so some of our fosters step up and take in animals knowing they will be in their home until they pass away. If you foster a terminally ill animal, you are giving it the loving end of its life it deserves, filled with warmth, kindness, and probably lots of spoiling!

5. Fostering Enriches YOUR Life as Well. It is becoming more and more apparent due to scientific studies, personal accounts, and widely shared experiences that animals literally improve your quality of life. Not only are they linked to reducing stress – which has an overall positive effect on the body due to less strain – but they improve anxiety and depression symptoms as well. Many people have reported that their dog, cat, rabbit, or other pet saved them from committing suicide. The companionship itself is healing for anxiety and depression sufferers, as well as the acts of petting, cuddling, and caring for the animal which provide endless emotional benefits. Also, it just makes life more fun in general due to the addition of another cute, spunky personality to your household. You can also have the comfort of knowing that you are doing your part in saving animals’ lives which improves your own self-worth.

If this sounds interesting and if you’re animal savvy, please click HERE to complete a foster application. In particular we have several dogs that need fosters with lots of dog experience.