SoulPup Episode 6: Why Fostering a Dog Can Save Lives
Have you toyed with the idea of opening your home to a dog — but don’t know if you or your family are ready for the commitment?
Do you already HAVE a dog or cat and wonder whether they will accept a furry new addition?
Well, this is the show for you. SoulPup offers a judgment free zone where you can hear what it takes to raise happy, healthy dogs. In this episode, we talk to Diane Stapley, a busy executive who regularly opens her heart and her home to foster animals through Austin Pets Alive. Diane shares what’s REALLY involved in fostering a dog — how you can help save a life, and she also shares tips to help other pets adjust to the furry new arrival.
Diane Stapley fostered a cute pup named Dot Warner, who battled several medical challenges before finding her forever home.
- Plan ahead. It takes a time commitment to open your heart, home and schedule to an adoptable animal. If you already have pets, it also means taking time to get your fur kids adjusted to the new arrival.
- Understand the financial commitment. Many shelters and rescue organizations will provide basic supplies such as flea and tick preventatives. Items that you provide — pet food, leashes, trips to the vet — can be tax deductible.
- Small risk, maximum reward: Fostering helps an adoptable dog get adopted faster by placing it in a home environment where there’s structure. Stanley notes that the transition from a shelter helps dogs adjust faster to home life and reduces the rate of return due to a lack of fit.Yes, it can take time for dogs and cats to adjust. But it truly does make a difference in the life of a dog. Seeing an animal that has been orphaned, abused or critically ill return take a turn and thrive can be incredibly rewarding. Most importantly, every time you open your home to a foster dog, you create space in a shelter for another dog, saving a life.
- Work your social network: Once you do open your home, share frequent updates on social media to keep potential adopters apprised of the dog’s personality, fun quirks and other escapades.
Want to try fostering?
- Contact your local shelter and ask about the process. You may need to complete paperwork and schedule a home check.
- Be open about your family dynamics. They are your best advocates to find a dog that will be a good match for your home and lifestyle.
- Be sure to set and maintain a routine. Dogs thrive when there’s a set schedule. This truly helps them adjust to home life and makes the transition easier in a forever home.
- Be prepared to share frequent updates to help the dog get adopted. You may also need to transport the dog to adoption events.
- If you have pets, make sure vaccinations are up to date and slowly introduce the new arrival. Separation is not a bad thing, particularly at meal time when some dogs can become possessive. Diane’s approach of treating fosters like guests is good advice.
- Encourage socialization. Diane welcomes friends to visit foster dogs. This helps them socialize and get acclimated to new situations, increasing their chance for adoption.