So you want to be a foster for To The Moon and Back?

Here is an FAQ that may help you make your decision

What’s a pet foster parent?

By being a pet foster parent, you provide a temporary home for an animal prior to adoption. Fostering animals is a wonderful and personal way to contribute to saving homeless pets. It’s also a way to try out an animal in your care prior to adoption. For To The Moon and Back, we need you or we couldn’t exist. Please fill out a foster application here if you're interested.

Why do animals need foster care?

There are several possible reasons:

  • Foster care can help save an animal’s life when other rescues are full.

  • Some animals need time to recover from an illness or injury before adoption.

Whatever the reason, these animals need some extra love and care before they can be adopted. Providing foster care for a few days, weeks, or months can be a lifesaving gift for an animal.

Would I be a good pet foster parent?

If you want to do something to help the animals, fostering can be a flexible, fun and rewarding volunteer job. Here’s why:

  • It’s more flexible than volunteer jobs that require you to show up at a specific time for a certain number of hours.

  • It’s a great way to enjoy a pet if you are not in a position to make that lifetime commitment right now. Fostering can be an excellent option for military families.

  • Would you like to add a dog or cat to your household, but you’re not sure? Fostering can be a great way to find out.

Taking animals into your home, loving them, and then letting them go requires a special kind of person. Your role as a foster parent is to prepare the animal for adoption into a loving home.

How much time will fostering take?

The specific needs of the animal will determine how much time is involved. Newborn orphaned puppies and kittens, for instance, must be fed every few hours. A frightened animal who needs socialization or training will also require some extra time. You can discuss your availability with To The Moon and Back to determine what kinds of animals you’ll be best suited to foster. 

What skills are needed to be an animal foster parent?

It’s best to have some knowledge about companion animal behavior and health. We are available for any questions you have and can refer you to a behaviorist if there are issues. 

 

Some of the animals most in need of foster care are those that require a little extra help or some training. Shy cats often need time to learn to trust and the quiet of a home environment. Dogs often benefit from a little obedience training, so if you familiarize yourself with some basic training techniques, you can be a big help in preparing your foster dog for a new home. Just by getting to know the animal, you’ll help us learn more about her personality prior to adoption. Please understand that these pets may be scared, have never been in a home before, or learned how to "dog." Time and patience is key.

What about food and medical care for the animal?

We can provide you with any medication if needed. On our applications, we request that you use a specific veterinary clinic for treatment of your foster animal. We can provide food if needed.

What about my own pets?

You’ll want to consider how the animals in your household will adjust to having a foster pet. Some animals do very well with a temporary friend and can help socialize the foster animal. Other pets have a harder time with new animals being added to or leaving the family. You’re the best judge of your pet’s personality.

 

For the safety of your pets and the foster animal, it’s important to keep your pets up-to-date on vaccinations. We do vet check all our fosters in order to make sure the animals in your home are UTD on vaccines and spayed/neutered.

 

Will I have to find a home for the foster animal myself?

We will take full responsibility for finding the animal a new home, though you can help by telling friends, family and co-workers about your foster pet. You can post on social media as well. Ultimately, anyone interested will have to fill out an application here. If the foster chooses to adopt the animal, they have first “dibs.”

What about when it’s time to say goodbye to the fostered pet?

Giving up an animal you’ve fostered, even to a wonderful new home, can be difficult emotionally. Some people like to be there when the pet goes home with the new family. Seeing your foster animal ride off into the sunset will help you remember that he has found a lovely new home.

A lot of foster families get photos and updates of their old charges enjoying their new homes. Knowing you were part of saving a life and helping the animal find a loving home is tremendously rewarding.

 

Sometimes a foster home turns into a permanent home. That’s why rescue, shelter, and humane organizations are always on the lookout for new foster homes!

 

But is it fair to the animals being fostered?

Some people are reluctant to foster animals because they are concerned that it is unfair to take in a dog or cat, establish a bond, and then allow the animal to be adopted out into another home. Isn’t that a second abandonment?

 

Not at all! Being in a foster home can be a lifesaving bridge for a stray or frightened pet. It gives the animal a chance to get used to life in a house, and an opportunity to learn that people can be kind, food is available, and there is a warm, secure place to sleep.

 

Foster care can help prepare a dog or cat for a new life in a permanent home. There’s no shortage of animals who need this preparation time before finding their own people.