Seven Star Rescue
WHY FOSTER A DOG?
“Fostering a dog is not a lifetime commitment, it is a commitment to saving a life.”
This is the watchword of rescue groups everywhere.
To foster a dog is, quite simply, to save that dog’s life. A foster home provides that same dog with a safe, temporary place of refuge until he is ultimately placed in a permanent, adoptive home.
Most rescues rely solely on a network of dedicated, volunteer foster homes, and could not survive without them. And rescues NEVER have enough foster homes.
Why? Because there are more dogs in need than there are foster homes available to meet that need.
There are many benefits to fostering, many pleasant surprises and many unexpected rewards. Foster parents, past and present, describe it as one of the most memorable and gratifying experiences of their lives.
Fostering is both a way of enriching the lives of the dogs and people involved, and a constructive way for people to give back to their communities. Fostered dogs can provide hours of entertainment and love for their humans, and provide valuable life lessons for adults and children alike.
By taking a deserving dog into their homes, fosters increase that dog’s chances of being adopted. Foster families have the time and the ability to transform their foster dog, through one-on-one contact, exercise and training, into a pet any person or family would be proud to call their own.
Fostering provides a needy dog with a stable environment, coupled with love, attention and affection. While the foster family provides the food, the rescue usually provides everything else, including payment of all medical costs to ensure the dog’s ongoing health and wellbeing.
Fosters are the essential eyes and ears of rescue. By spending every day with their foster dog, fosters will learn all they can about his particular personality. They will be able to identify any behavioral issues that need to be addressed, then work on addressing them.
If fosters already have a dog – either their own or another foster - in residence, all the better. The more animals their foster dog meets, the more socialized he will become, the more easily he will handle stress, and the more relaxed he will be around strangers. And it’s a simple matter to add another warm, furry body to their own dog’s daily walks, meal and potty schedules.
For those who have never owned a dog, fostering provides them with the unique
opportunity of seeing if they themselves are suited for permanent pet parenthood.
But fostering a dog is NOT a form of trial adoption for that particular dog. There is even a term for it: foster failure. The most successful fosters are those who, despite being emotionally invested, know that they are a stepping stone towards their foster dog’s future. And that as one successfully fostered dog leaves their home, another needy and deserving dog is waiting to enter it.
Ultimately, then, fostering a dog saves not just one life, but two.
WHEN CHOOSING A DOG, CHOOSE WISELY!
Truer words were never spoken, because being an informed owner truly means being that dog’s true, best friend.
An alarming number of dogs are abandoned, surrendered, and euthanized each year in this country. The reasons are many, but one of the greatest contributing factors is the failure of too many potential owners to educate themselves fully BEFORE acquiring a dog.
The educated ones would know to thoroughly familiarize themselves with the breed they’re considering, including the breed’s physical description and personality, trainability and exercise requirements, health issues, and general care and grooming.
They would know there’s no such thing as TOO much information. The more informed they are, the more informed their decision.
They would know to choose a breed that fits in with their particular lifestyle, needs and expectations. Examples. No high shedding dogs in a home of allergy sufferers. No hyperactive or high energy dogs in a small apartment. No dogs who can’t get along with cats or any other family pets. No dogs in need of constant companionship if there is no one at home during the day.
They would know that, whatever the breed, raising a dog from puppy hood is, like raising a child, not a hobby or a sometime thing but a full time, fully committed responsibility.
They would know that puppies must be housetrained promptly and socialized early in order for them to develop into well-behaved and friendly dogs with good bite inhibition.
They would know to always be consistent, that discipline does NOT mean punishment, and that love, in and of itself, does NOT conquer all.
They would also know that certified trainers and supervised puppy classes can be of crucial help to them in raising calm and balanced dogs if they’re unable to manage on their own.
On the flip side are the uninformed and uneducated owners. The ones who, ruled by their hearts and not their heads, choose poorly from the start. The ones who, sadly and all too frequently, raise untrained, ill-mannered and often dangerous dogs.
These are the dogs who, over time, will prove too much for their ill-equipped and increasingly frustrated owners. These are the dogs who will eventually be abandoned in empty lots or left by the side of the road. These are the dogs who will be deposited outside a local pound or shelter or, if they’re lucky, surrendered to a rescue organization.
These are the dogs who will be adopted – and probably returned – by unsuspecting people intent on doing the right thing by not buying from a pet store or an unscrupulous breeder. These are the dogs who, more than likely, will be euthanized due to overcrowded facilities or because of their own people-biting or dog-aggressive behaviors.
These are the unfortunate innocents who will pay with their lives for their owners’ unfortunate ignorance. Thereby perpetuating an all-too-familiar and vicious cycle. And the only way to break this cycle is to turn every potential dog owner into an informed and educated dog owner.
Remember that the dog YOU ultimately choose is counting on you.
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