All you need to start fostering is love.
Being a foster for an animal in need is an incredibly rewarding experience, and one that can save the life of a dog or cat that may otherwise not exit the shelter, or be euthanized. Almost 8 million animals enter shelters every single year in the US, so fostering really does save lives.
As a foster, you do not need to make a long term commitment of adopting a companion animal of your own, so this is a great way to make a huge difference and save a life without the responsibilities of adopting. I Stand With My Pack also provides all food, medical care, and anything else your foster animal may need during their stay with you.
Fostering can be for as short as a weekend, or you can commit to a longer period until your foster animal finds their forever home. This also helps our rescue make room to save more homeless animals, and helps local shelters free up space so they may not have to euthanize to create space.
By providing a safe temporary place for a homeless animal in need stay, you are not only saving their lives, but also helping them decompress from the high stress of being in a shelter (which can be overcrowded and very scary), and also help them trust and learn that humans are kind after any trauma, neglect, or abuse they have suffered.
Non-human animals, like people, are very sensitive, so can expect that your foster dog or cat may be very scared at first. It is important to be patient and to understand that you may be the first time they are experiencing any kindness, a home, safety, or stability.
You can also expect that even if your foster animal was not abused, they still may be very frightened from what they experienced by losing their previous home, or from living on the streets with no security of access to food or shelter. Please understand because of this, they may exhibit behavior that is fear based, such as cowering, being fearful of loud noises, or being shy at first. Please know this is totally normal and that your being kind and understanding will make a huge difference in their ability to be safe enough to feel relaxed and learn that life is not so scary. Many animals we rescue may have never had a home, or done normal things such as being inside a house, learning where to sleep or go to the bathroom, learning how to walk on stairs, walking on a leash, or playing with toys. All these things may be new, so patience, kindness, and understanding go a very long way in helping them to adjust. Allowing them to feel safe and comfortable in a home is so important for your foster animal to learn to trust, and this is a huge step towards their being able to find a forever home!
”I am alive because someone fostered me”
– Violet, Shar Pei
Please keep in mind that animals at shelters ended up there, not because there is anything wrong with them or because they are bad, but instead because there are simply too many unwanted animals and they were failed by humans. Most dogs in shelters are pitbull, rottweiler or other large dog breeds, and these dogs need help the most because they are being overbred and therefore dumped at shelters. Please consider opening your home and heart to a dog that although they may look “scary” or “different”,often they are the sweetest, most grateful and most gentle dogs you can meet! We temperament test all of our animals, so being open to what the animal you foster looks like can be the most rewarding and life changing experience of all! Giving a chance to someone who has never been given one is one of the most important things a foster can do.
I Stand With My Pack does not have a facility and is a donation funded non-profit, so the more fosters we can work with, the more lives we will be able to save together!
If you are considering being a foster, please feel free to reach out to use with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org