“Shelters and rescues throughout Chicago are desperate for foster homes. In general, they provide the animal, provide food and other supplies, fund the vet care… and you simply do the day to day care in your home. In short, you get to have a pet for a few weeks or months at little to no cost to you. After a few weeks or months, it goes elsewhere (to the shelter once there’s room, or else directly into an adoptive home).
-This means that you could have perma-kittens- foster for a few weeks, they head out to their forever homes, and when you’re ready for a fresh batch, get some new ones! (think of the potential upvotes!)
-It means you could have a dog to hang out with for the summer, and not have to deal with having a dog when it’s cold and awful outside.
-You could have a cat to snuggle, but not have to worry about that trip to Italy you planned for August.
I’m a big believer in getting involved in your community, in doing good. I’m also a firm believer that caring for a creature that can’t help itself makes you a better person- it creates empathy and encourages compassion. Pets decrease stress levels. They encourage better mental health. They’re chick magnets. They’re conversation starters.
Fostering is largely just a commitment of your time and energy. Unlike traditional volunteer work, it doesn’t require you to block out a few hours of your time on a regular basis- you can work your foster pet into your daily routine, meaning that it’s a much easier commitment.
I encourage you to consider opening your heart and home to a creature in need. Foster homes allow shelters and rescues to help more animals, and to provide better care for those in need of more one on one attention.
If you’re considering it, but have questions, ask away! I’m currently on foster animal #118 (119 arrives on Monday!). I can put you in touch with the right people to get you that rabbit/bengal/pug/kitten you’ve always wanted to come home to.
(This PSA brought to you by my recent involvement with Red Door Animal Shelter. Easter means stray bunny after stray bunny, and for the only organization in Chicago that adopts out rabbits, it means they’ve got their hands full.)”
It’s a lot of responsibility to take care of an animal but you can help out a Chicago Animal Shelter by taking care of one for a short amount of time.