Short term foster care
For shelter dogs who have been adopted abroad it is really nice if they can stay in a home for a few days up to a couple of weeks before leaving for their new life. Like this, they can already recover a bit from the stresses of shelter life, get some house-training and acclimatise to living in a home.
Another short term foster situation is post-op care after a sterilisation or minor surgery. We are always grateful when an animal can recover in the safety and comfort of a home and only return to the shelter when it is strong enough again.
Puppies cannot go to the shelter because of the danger of infections that could potentially be fatal for them. We always do our best to get puppies homed as quickly as possible but in the meantime, they need to be fostered.
Fostering puppies (or a pup) is a labour of love but greatly beneficial for the socialisation of the young animal which in turn increases its chances of being adopted. In case we do not find the pup a home, he will normally have to go to the shelter when he is old enough.So, no one gets lumbered with a pup for ever more.
Longer term foster care
Those who enjoy foster care and do not mind a dog staying a bit longer, might consider looking after an animal that is ill or injured and needs special care for a while. This kind of foster care would be in very close collaboration with the association.
Older dogs are sometimes in need of foster care as well. Life at the shelter is stressful for the dogs, especially for those animals that are getting old. Giving such a dog a comfortable space for the last part of his life is a very generous thing to do and is always greatly appreciated.
Cats that are taken from their normal environment for whatever reason need to stay in a secure place for at least a week to ten days until they know where their food source is and until their system has attuned to a different location. A quiet bedroom with a few comfortable spots is ideal.
Cats are very territorial and their degree of sociability varies greatly. Some will move around other animals of the household with relative ease, others will hiss at everyone and try to get away. Having a cat stay in your household takes a great deal of caution and patience. All this goes for cats that are used to human contact, of course. Feral cats are a different subject all together.