In animal rescue, foster homes are critical because they give pets a loving, temporary shelter home. They also give us the opportunity to learn more about the animal in a home environment and therefore place it in the most appropriate permanent home.
At the SPCA of Southwest Michigan we are blessed with a dedicated and growing group of people, who are willing to welcome foster animals into their homes. They offer a comfortable bed to an older dog or dedicate a spare room to a nursing cat and her kittens. While we need our foster families to be flexible, we can usually find a good match for their lifestyle.
Some people wonder what drives people to take an animal into their home knowing they're going to get attached and then have to say goodbye? The primary reason is of course a deep love of animals and the knowledge that this is something you can do to help reduce the thousands of animals that are senselessly destroyed in Kalamazoo County each year.
We asked a few of our foster families to tell us why they do it and were happy to discover that they gain a tremendous amount from the experience, too. They certainly must, because they keep coming back for more! The most commonly expressed joy was in witnessing a transformation as the animal emerges from the stress of its previous ordeal and its true personality begins to shine through. That is a true miracle!
Nancy and Todd Mossman have fostered larger dogs for the SPCA for the past several years. They are excellent trainers. They take SPCA dogs into their home of three cats and three dogs and immediately begin training them with consistency and kind words and rewards. They have been able to turn a dog completely around and help get them adopted into a forever home. They see beyond the fear and realize these dogs simply need to feel secure. They look into their eyes and offer them just that. Nancy and Todd are taking a break because they weren’t able to let go of their last foster. They adopted Mr. Bean [see 2/25/13 newsletter]. Lucky dog.
Saying goodbye to a foster cat or dog is difficult. Jodi Mattison has shed tears a few different times. She and her family try to focus on the end result. They all participate in welcoming a new foster into their home. They are responsible for getting several of our beagles and hounds adopted into loving homes. Some people seem to have a gift for specific dogs. They now have adopted a beagle and a hound from the SPCA. They too are taking a break. We are always looking for new fosters.
Fostering can make a house a home. It can offer validity to a person who is searching for a reason to wake up in the morning. It gives them that reason to wake up and know someone needs them. SPCA dogs are taken to nursing homes on a regular basis. The SPCA welcomes schools, community organizations, anyone that is sincerely kind and wants to be loved by an abandoned cat or dog. It may be the first time for a person to ever know this kind of unconditional love.
Thank you to all our foster families: you are extremely important - to the SPCA and the animals!
The Foster experience is an option following our Volunteer Orientation. After completion of the manditory shelter training, if you think you may be able to offer a temporary refuge for a rescued animal, please give us a call today at 269-344-1474
or email us:
for dogs, contact Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org