This program runs on fosters like a plant on sunlight. I mean, we need you guys like hackers need hot pockets, like Adam Sandler needs to stop making movies, like teenage girls need Twilight marathons, like Porgy needs Bess… well, you get it.
We really can’t live without you. Actually, that’s not quite true–it’s the animals who can’t live without you. Your willingness to take them into your home bridges a gap we simply cannot bridge without you. Because Keri took this little guy home to foster, we were able to take another animal into FFL and to safety. It is a principle that is truly that simple: fosters = capacity to save. If you want No Kill shelters to be able to save more animals, foster/adopt/donate No Kill.
What’s holding you back from fostering? Afraid it will cost you something? We cover everything. Everything. Food, medical, professional training (for you and the foster:)), kitten milk, puppy milk, toys, crates and more. Heck, bring their laundry up here and we will do that and give you clean stuff. We can work out foster opportunities for just about any time frame you need. Maybe you are a short term foster. Maybe you are the type who wants to see a health condition all the way through like seeing a dog all the way through heartworm treatment recovery. Maybe you have the perfect quiet home to give one of our shy cats a little break from the shelter and let her practice being with people.
Are you afraid you will get attached? You probably will. Take some beautiful advice from veteran foster parents Ken and Kim,
“Fostering for FFL started out as a way for us to better socialize our dogs, but it turned into a passion for helping dogs find families.”
The first foster was the hardest goodbye. I had not prepared myself, or understood how attached I had become in a short time. But not long after he was adopted, we got another foster, and the excitement immediately put the sadness in the past.
My wife and I agree that fostering, and particularly, fostering for FFL, was and remains one of the best decisions we ever made. Some dogs brought great happiness and enthusiasm, some brought growth through challenges. Each was special in its own way. You could say that, in some respects, none of them ever left us. The brief sadness of saying goodbye to a foster pet is nothing in comparison to the happiness these dogs bring. Somehow they seem to know that they are with you for now, but maybe not forever. But the beauty of a dog is that they are always in the moment with no worry about yesterday or tomorrow.
Why wouldn’t you help a dog find a forever home, at the risk you will be sad for short time when the goal is reached? Mother Theresa said “we can not do great things, only do little things with great love.” And this has become our little thing. We are much the better for it.
Saying goodbye to a foster is sometimes difficult, and sometimes very difficult. But that is nothing compared to the knowledge that you helped an animal get off the streets, out of danger, and into a loving home. Sometimes, when we see a problem, the solution comes from just two questions: If not you, who? If not now, when? An animal in need can’t wait, and fosters are the bridge that allows FFL to do some amazing things. You can be a part of the solution to a problem, and make your life richer in the process. Why wait? Foster.”
So we actually hope you “succeed” at fostering like Ken and Kim so when we place your foster with an adopter, you’ve had such a great experience that you will want to foster with us again.
But in fostering, sometimes a “fail” is also a pretty stunning success! Enter Keri and Conor the pup.
“Yesterday, we officially welcomed Conor into our family. 6 weeks before the adoption papers were signed, Conor came into our lives as another in our long line of fosters. When we first met Conor, he was an emaciated puppy with a face in horrible condition.
WARNING — This before image of Connor’s face is pretty graphic…
Even though Conor was obviously in pain, and in no great shape, he wagged his tail and was so sweet during the entire intake process. When it was mentioned that he needed a foster home to help him on the road to recovery, I just knew we had to take him home.
Conor settled into his new role as “resident patient” quickly, tucked safely away in our foster room. It was easy to see that like his namesake, notorious MMA fighter Conor McGregor, nothing would keep this puppy down. He would dance and wag in his kennel every time Ben and I entered the room, just happy that he was safe now and loved.
And boy, was he loved.”
Three weeks into the FFL program, Conor showed us that he has a beautiful smile. And he had a lot to smile about. He landed in Houston’s No Kill program.
“After six weeks of medications (and snuggles), hydrotherapy (and kisses), and cocoa butter rubdowns (and tail wags), Conor was ready to be adopted.
With the news that Conor was ready to be adopted, we extolled upon all the reasons Conor was the most perfect puppy in all of the universe and how he would be sure to get a great forever home and quickly. Our hearts became heavy – he was the most perfect puppy in all the multi-verse, what would we do without him?
We decided we didn’t want to find out. Welcome to the family Conor.”
— Keri, Ben, Bam, Ena, Sassy, Cali and Bitten