Fostering offers lasting rewards | PostIndependent.com

Fostering offers lasting rewards

Blair Bracken
Rifle Animal Shelter

Many volunteers at the Rifle Animal Shelter find fostering to be the most satisfying, direct way to help animals. In order to save the most lives possible, we run our shelter at full capacity. Increasing our foster network is the only thing we can do to increase the number of lives saved by our shelter. In addition, there is the heartfelt gratitude of the shelter staff, and the animals that comes with fostering.

The length of time that animals will be fostered varies in every situation. Foster periods can depend on age, needs and other unpredictable factors; but generally most foster situations range from about two weeks to two months. Foster periods may sometimes be longer if the situation requires, and if — for whatever reason — a foster animal is not working out, you are always welcome to bring the animal back to us.

It costs nothing to foster an animal. The Rifle Animal Shelter provides all veterinary care for the duration of the foster period, and also provides any other necessary vetting supplies, including dry and wet food, litter, crates, leashes, etc. Any purchases for your foster pet are considered a donation and tax deductible.

Fostering a pet with a family can raise some concerns, but we’ve found that many fosters who have children love the experience. It’s such a great opportunity for your kids to learn many powerful life lessons about the joys of volunteering and the value in every life — not to mention responsible pet ownership. The kids seem to accept and adjust to the temporary nature of fostering better than the adults, and they are always excited to meet the next furry friend. The hardest thing is letting go.

Of course, you will get attached to your foster pets. You will find that you love each and every one of them, and that’s what will make you a great foster. Many people say to the staff at the Rifle Animal Shelter that they love the animals too much to let them go, but letting them go is actually the best gift you can give yourself, the animals and the adoptive families. It’s because of our love for each of these little souls, and our desire to save so many lives, that we are able to act so selflessly even when it hurts. These animals deserve their own homes where they are the center of someone’s life, and we know we can save far more animals by letting them go.

Once you see the adoptive family, the excitement on their faces and the love in their hearts, you will know the true gift of fostering. We cannot say it will be easy. The first one is always the hardest to let go, but we can quickly distract you with another adorable animal that is in just as much need of your snuggles. And to be honest, in our many years of rescue work we have yet to have someone stop fostering because it was too hard on their heart. In fact, many cannot stop fostering because it just feels too good. If you would like to foster a shelter pet, contact the Rifle Animal Shelter at 625-8808 and ask for Cait Walker, foster coordinator.


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