We all are aware of the situation of homeless animals and strays in India.
Local authorities are trying to neuter and spay many of them to control their population so that the stray situation is under control, but that will take some time. We have been witnessing the existence of indies on the street for decades now, and there is not much we can do about it.
The good news is several laws have been ruled in favor of these homeless animals. Like societies cannot force pets who live there to leave the premises. They need to be vaccinated timely by society and fed so that they can continue living their everyday lives. The increase in animal activists has also favored these homeless animals.
To make the situation worse, the number of abandoned pets has also increased. Families do not consider the amount of work it takes before adopting a pet and opt for one of the Trending Breeds. As a puppy, they love to have a dog at home, but as they grow to be adults, people realize the amount of work involved. A few of them are put to be adopted, and the rest are abandoned. This especially happens with large dog breeds that are tough to be handled.
To make matters worse, people adopt breeds that are not suitable to be kept in our country, where the weather is usually warm. Snow breeds like Husky and Saint Bernard are adopted just because of their looks, and the dog ends up suffering as they find it tough to survive here during summers.
Unfortunately, not many shelters can cope with the demand, so fostering pets is a great way to help these homeless animals. This is both rewarding and challenging. You must understand the process before jumping into it.
Before you agree to foster homeless dogs, here are the things you should know.
1. Is it the Right Time for You?
It sounds noble to foster an animal, but do not jump into it just because of that. Many factors need to be considered. The animal stays in foster care until its adoption, but the foster home helps them deal with their trauma. While you may have the best intentions, you also need enough resources and time to make such a big commitment.
2. Is Your Home Prepared?
Fostering an animal means welcoming it into your house. Your home needs to be prepared to handle fostering new dogs every few months. Especially when you have other members in your home, you need to ask them if they are comfortable with you fostering pets. If yes, then establish a few boundaries so that others at home do not get disturbed by this step. You need to pet-proof the house, add dog gates where required, and define areas for feeding them.
3. Can You Train the Dog?
Your ultimate aim is to re-home the dog, which means it needs to be house-trained properly before you get it adopted. This ensures the new family readily accepts the new member, and the dog is disciplined and ready to find a new home.
4. Are you Emotionally Prepared?
You must consider this factor carefully if you are an inexperienced pet foster. A foster pet not just needs financial support but also emotional support. They might not have experienced it till now; hence it might be tough for you to rebuild their trust and confidence. You need to be emotionally available to offer that.
Remember, these abandoned dogs have gone through the trauma of losing a home they loved and dealing with the cruelness of humans who suddenly let them go. Many of these pets are so heartbroken that they lose the will to live. They need extreme love and care to get over their past. You may have your own issues to deal with, but that cannot affect how you care for them.
Raising a pet is different from fostering one. You are dealing with a delicate animal who had a bad past. They cannot be ignored at any point in time. You must be vigilant and slowly act according to how they react to your care. Their symptoms may distress you as well. You need to be emotionally strong to deal with the sufferings of these pets. Many animal lovers find it challenging to even hear the tragic stories of these abandoned animals. You must be strong enough to know their past and give them a better future.
5. Can You Handle the Transfer?
Foster homes are temporary till the pet gets adopted. As a foster parent, you need to take this process seriously. Due to the increased awareness on social media of animal cruelty and individuals wanting to adopt more for these animals, you will find many potential forever homes for the pet. Still, you cannot jump the guns yet. You need to handle this process step by step.
Check the potential adopter’s background and arrange a meeting with the pet if everything seems okay. The pet should be comfortable with them and vice versa. Get the dog neutered or spayed, so it is not used for breeding. Once you hand the pet over to the new owner, get regular updates from them for a few months to check if the animal is doing well there.
You also need to handle being apart from the pet. Fostering is challenging as you may get attached to the animal. Remember, you may not be capable of adopting all the dogs. You are doing it for the better, as getting them adopted means you can use these resources to rescue more unfortunate animals. Look at the bigger picture here.
The Bottom Line:
Fostering homeless and abandoned dogs can be a rewarding experience. But you must first be sure you are ready to handle it financially and emotionally. Start small by fostering one dog at a time, and once you are confident, you can foster a few at a time and help to find them forever home.