Why is fostering so important -- especially during the holidays? (besides avoiding the lump of coal)
Fostering a dog can be a gift. I'm a huge proponent of pet fostering, and was the first foster blogger for the Helen Woodward Animal Center. Since our own dog has moved into her golden years, we are more sensitive to the beauty and joy of having a senior dog in the home.
In a family setting, caring for an older dog teaches children that end of life issues can be uplifting while still poignant. As adults with aging parents, caring for a senior dog has its own similarities and may actually help us Baby Boomers work through the many difficult emotions we face.
During the holidays, if you foster a pet, not only do you get the gift of a warm and appreciative dog to share in the festivities, but you'll be that much closer to earning those wings Clarence was talking about in It's A Wonderful Life.
- Giving shelters and rescue groups extra help during a time of year when they are usually short-staffed.
- Giving other foster parents a chance to travel or just take a break.
- Freeing up a spot so the shelter or rescue group can take in another pet.
- Giving your foster pet the time he or she needs to be ready for adoption. (Learn common reasons pets need foster homes.)
- Helping the shelter or rescue group learn more about the pet so he can end up in the home best suited to him.
- Socializing the pet to a home environment and possibly getting him used to being around other pets and different types of people.
Have more questions? Join a live Facebook Q&A next Tuesday, December 13, from 3-4pm ET on how to help homeless pets during the holidays.
In honor of Petfinder's third annual Foster a Lonely Pet for the Holidays campaign, they asked their Facebook fans to tell them what they wanted our live Q&A to cover.
Sara Kent, director of shelter outreach, will be answering questions about everything from becoming a pet foster parent and volunteering at a shelter to how to set up a fun and unique awareness campaign and simple ways to trigger donations to help pets live on the Petfinder Facebook page.
To participate, people just need to be logged in to Facebook and "like" the Petfinder page.