FOSTERS SAVE LIVES! How? Fosters provide TEMPORARY, loving and safe homes for animals until they are adopted. Because FAW isn’t a shelter and we don’t have shelter facilities, if we don’t have a foster for an animal surrendered into our care, we have to make the difficult decision to either put them to sleep or send them to the pound. So, when we say that FAW fosters save lives, we really mean it.
It’s important to know that most animals needing foster care do not have special needs so you don’t need to be nervous that you may not be able to cope. Many are ready for homes – they just need a place to stay! Think of it as couch surfing for pets.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp 078 892 7892 OR complete the online foster application form here: FOSTER APPLICATION FORM
5 reasons why fostering is important
- We have no shelter so there is nowhere to take unwanted animals.
- If we can find a shelter which can take them, many animals do not cope, becoming depressed, frantic, stressed, underweight, and traumatised. Even those that do cope struggle eventually. Some shelters are so full that they may eventually have to put the animal to sleep.
- Fostering improves their social skills and you can teach the basics (e.g. house-training).
- Helps us know more about their personality, likes and dislikes, and abilities, making it easier to find the ideal home for them.
- People are more likely to adopt fostered animals because they know they’ve been in a home environment and have been taught the basics.
Emergency, short- and long-term fosters
Animals awaiting homes can be in foster care for anything from a week or two to several months, although we prefer them not stay too long. Sometimes all they need is a spare room and an extra couple of days so we have time to find something more long-term.
We desperately need emergency fosters – people around Durbanville who are available to take in an animal straight away whom we can call on if we’ve uplifted up an animal (usually Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) and need somewhere for them to stay until we can make another plan, or if, for example, they need to recover from surgery.
Fostering is also important for for:
- Animals recovering from surgery or illness
- Baby animals needing frequent feeding and attention
- Nervous or timid animals.
- Animals requiring increased/special feeding due to starvation, neglect or illness.
- Young animals needing extra exercise and/or training.
- Animals who cannot cope with shelter life (e.g. seniors).
Foster ‘job description’
Obviously, you have to love animals and be home often enough to care for them!
You also need to monitor their health, spend time with them, provide basic training (e.g. housetraining), and help us network them, for example by taking photos of them.
Fosters are unpaid volunteers but we can provide food for your foster should you need it, and cover any medical care they may need until they are adopted. Ideally, you would live near one of our vets (i.e. Northern Suburbs of Cape Town, especially Durbanville and surrounds) but this isn’t critical unless the animal specifically needs vet check-ups or care.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I choose my foster animal?
Yes! You specify species, size, age, sex, etc. or a specific animal, for how long you can foster at a time, and when you’re available. You can stop fostering at any time; we respect your decisions.
Can anyone be a foster?
Fosters need to meet certain criteria and a basic home check is needed. This ensures that both the animal and you are suited to each other. You’ll also need to sign a contract so that everyone knows where they stand.
For healthy adult dogs and cats, you don’t have to be home all the time, but you also can’t be constantly travelling or out at work for long hours every day. Animals with special needs or young puppies and kittens are better off with fosters who are home or able to check on them regularly during the day.
You don’t have to be very experienced or have special knowledge, unless it’s a special needs animal. You don’t have to have lots of money or an enormous house either!
The best fosters are stable, average homes with lots of love to give.
Do fosters get paid?
No, we do not pay fosters – they are volunteers wanting to make a difference. Many people prefer to provide the food and other items but we are more than happy to provide this, as well as things like a bed, collar, etc. until they are adopted. Vet treatment is also at our vet, which we cover until adoption.
What about my own pets?
We endeavour to take foster animals for a vet check and vaccinate them beforehand. Unless the foster has specifically asked to take recovering animals, we avoid fostering sick and/or contagious animals. We are as upfront as possible about any health or behavioural issues that we know of or suspect.
Nonetheless, ensure your pets’ vaccinations are up-to-date, that they are spayed/neutered, and that their health is good. Deworm them regularly.
Your own animals are your priority and, if you don’t feel they will cope with new animals, it’s best to give fostering a miss (except for situations like keeping a cat in the spare room for a day or two).
And my children?
If we know or suspect an animal isn’t good with children, we won’t send it to a home with children. Your children should ideally be used to animals and know not to bother them while eating, play roughly with them, etc. It’s important that you discuss the process with your children as they don’t always understand that it’s temporary and could struggle if the animal finds a forever home.
But isn’t it hard to ‘say goodbye’?
It can be. The key is to remember that it’s the only way to open up space to save another animal. Knowing that we’re strict in our rehoming helps – you can be sure we’ve done everything possible to find a GREAT home. If you really struggle, very short-term/emergency fostering is a better option. Many fosters do end up adopting but that’s entirely up to you!
OK, I CAN BE A FOSTER! WHAT’S NEXT?
Please email us on email@example.com or complete the online application form here: FOSTER APPLICATION FORM.