Foster care - You can do it!

By ANNE BOXHALL

Have you ever thought about fostering a dog or cat?

Nita and Deb are foster carers for SAFE Inc - Western Australia’s largest volunteer-based animal rehoming service.

For Nita, caring for animals on a temporary basis is a perfect fit for people who want dogs and cats in their lives but also want to be free to travel.

Fostering isn’t as hard as you might think says Nita. The satisfaction in helping many different animals outweighs the tricky part - letting them go!

It’s a privilege to take a dog in, love them, play with them, encourage them to trust humans again and watch them develop and grow.

Animals can relax and find their feet in a regular home environment, without the stress of being confined in an animal shelter.

We get to understand the personality of each animal and can tell adopters exactly what their new pet is like.

I get emails, phone calls and photos from adopters showing how happy the animals are and I always say that’s a job well done!

For Deb, being part of a joint effort with other SAFE foster carers saving thousands of animals' lives each year is incredibly rewarding.

In many ways, it’s not all that different to minding someone else’s pet because the dog or cat will always have another home to go to.

So when people say, I couldn’t foster because I’d get too attached - yes you might – however you are also playing a vital part in bringing the right pet and the right family together.

Author Lisa Lanser Rose puts it best when she says sometimes you do get attached, but so what? Yes, love hurts! Dogs and cats are out there hurting right now. You can do it, at least give it a try.

For more on foster caring, contact SAFE Inc at safe.org.au or your nearest ACAN member in other states.

Anne Boxhall is Executive Officer of Animal Welfare League Australia's West Australian member organisation, SAFE Inc.

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