Fostering 101 With My Favorite Dog Foster Mom
Ashley Jordan, ChromAnimals Co-Founder
December 16, 2016
One of our objectives at ChromAnimals is to give a portion of our proceeds to local animal shelters and rescue organizations. A big part of these organizations are their foster programs. Fostering is something that my family has always been interested in, but we don’t know a lot about where to begin. I figured there were others out there like us, who would love to help with abandoned animals, but may need help finding information. I sat down with regular foster mom Katie Kinzer of All 4 Paws Rescue in Pennsylvania to talk about her fostering experiences and to share any advice she may have for first time foster parents.
Please read through our Q&A and if you are interested in fostering please contact a local rescue in your area about foster opportunities. If you are in the Philadelphia, PA or Delaware area All 4 Paws Rescue is a great place to start for more information.
Q: How did you get involved with fostering?
A: We adopted our two dogs from All 4 Paws Rescue. After you adopt from the rescue you are invited to join their closed Forever Families Facebook page. As a part of this group people would mention that they started fostering and sometimes the rescue would put in requests for volunteers. I began offering to volunteer with the rescue, originally helping at events and conducting screening phone calls for potential adopters. I wanted to foster, but at first my husband was reluctant. That was until we saw a 10 year old German shepherd dumped at ACCT (Animal Control & Care Team of Philadelphia) that they needed to place in an emergency home. We agreed to do it and that is how it all began for us as fosters.
Q: What are important things an interested foster parent should take into consideration, such as a change in schedule, prior to fostering?
A: We try to be available and home more often. We try to take in fosters when we know we are not going to be traveling (although we have had fosters while traveling and we just had to make arrangements for them). We spend more time at home since the dogs are going through a traumatic time. We do have full time jobs, so it hasn’t been a big change for us really as far as schedule. Dogs are flexible and it’s way better to be in a home with full time working foster parents, then on a shelter floor and/or dead. If we have a dog that we need to crate while we are at work then that is what we do.
Q: What is your favorite part about fostering?
A: I like having the chance to get to experience all of the different dogs. It gives you the chance to have a lot of pets, without actually having a lot of pets. BUT, my real favorite part is that you are literally saving a life. If people don’t foster the dogs, they stay in the shelters and get put down. It’s just a fact that people do not want to acknowledge. When there are too many dogs and not enough space, then dogs are unfortunately put to sleep.
Q: What are some things you would want people to keep in mind when making the decision to foster?
A: People always say to me “I don’t know how you do it, I would get too attached.” That drives me crazy. Of course, I get super attached. I want to keep the dogs. BUT if someone doesn’t do it, the dogs face a harsher fate in the shelters. It is better to be sad that a dog has moved on to a loving home and you miss them just a bit, rather than leave them in the shelters.
People must remember that the dogs have been through a horrible time. Their families that they were used to and loved have deserted them. They have been in high kill shelters and moved around a lot. Make sure that you are ready to be kind and patient. The dogs are trying. They are so grateful that they are safe and loved in your home. Just remember to have patience.
I want to say a big thank you to Katie Kinzer of All 4 Paws Rescue for your insight and advice. Katie is who introduced me to my latest rescue pup and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome! Thank you for all that you do!
Foster dogs bring light into our lives!
Photograph via Pixabay