PetsEmpower understands that you may have concerns about fostering someone else’s pet. If you’re committed to our mission but have questions about fostering, please read on. We’ve compiled answers to some questions and concerns that new foster parents may have.
What if my Foster Pet isn’t a Good Match?
You want to help, but you’re more of a dog person than a cat person. Or maybe you’re afraid you’ll receive a hyperactive dog because you’re not an active person.
Our goal is to build a network of options for people in crisis. We accept a variety of different animals, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept a variety of animals. If you share your preferences with us, we’ll do our best to match you with an animal. If we find a match immediately, that’s great. If not, we’ll find another home for that pet.
We don’t want either humans or animals to feel uncomfortable or unsafe during the family’s transition. It takes immense courage to leave a crisis situation, and we want to make that easier—not more difficult.
I’ve Never Worked with an Abused Animal Before
Many animals suffer extreme trauma from domestic abuse. If you’re not comfortable caring for a traumatized pet, let us know. We’ll find a better match for those animals.
The types of abuse our animals have experienced varies. In many domestic abuse households, the pets are also abused. There are also many where they haven’t been abused but have witnessed abuse toward their owner. Like humans, animals react to abuse in different ways.
In spite of this, many pets flourish immediately after leaving an abusive situation. They yearn for somewhere to thrive, and your home could that place for them. You might be surprised at how similar caring for an abused animal is to caring for your own pet.
I Don’t Know How to Train a Dog
That’s fine! Training is a great distraction for a displaced and abused animal, but it’s not required. Again, we want our pets to feel safe first and foremost. If you prefer to walk or go to the dog park, do those instead.
The Pet Could be a Risk to my Kids or Pets
If a foster pet doesn’t get along with kids or other pets, we’re not going to match them with a home that has kids or pets. It’s not safe for anyone involved.
It’s Not Enough Time for an Animal to Recover
We know that recovery is a long process and can’t be accomplished in a few weeks or months. PetsEmpower is meant to be a stepping stone, not a full recovery program. You’re not responsible for re-socializing an animal or addressing its trauma.
The most important thing a foster home in our program does is provide a safe and loving place for a pet. If you want to provide more, that’s wonderful. If you don’t feel you can, that’s still wonderful. Remember, the other options are to remain in a dangerous situation, become homeless, or be surrendered to a shelter.
You’ll find this concern in any type of fostering. It’s hard to say goodbye to a pet when you’ve spent weeks or months with them. Remember that you have the option to foster again. You won’t have the same pet, but that’s part of the joy of fostering.
Prepare yourself for the transition. Take photos or keep a journal to remember them. Consider having a celebration. You could go their favorite park. Get fancy treats and invite their friends (human and non-human) over to play. Buy a going-home present, like a bandana or a bed.
Remember that fostering with PetsEmpower is unique. Your foster pet isn’t waiting for a new family. He has a family. He’s waiting for them to find a safe place to live. You’re a bridge to their recovery, and you can be another family’s bridge afterward.