By Chris McSherry
This National Foster Care Month, the MD SPCA is sharing blogs guest-written by our incredible foster parents. Thank you so much for all you do!
Want to become a foster parent? Click here for more information.
This question is at once easy and complicated to answer. The easy answer is that it is FUN!
The fun starts as soon as you complete your training when you bring home your first fosters. My kids wanted to foster for a long time, so we were all trained together. This was a family project and my then 19-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter were totally involved. Once we did it, we wished we had started much sooner.
Our first fosters were a mother cat and her two-week-old kittens, who we named Lucy and Linus. The mother couldn’t nurse them anymore because she’d been spayed before the kittens were discovered, so we bottle-fed them for a few weeks.
We took shifts and all had so much fun holding them, feeding them, and watching them grow into healthy, playful two-month-olds. We found them excellent homes in our neighborhood and were hooked on fostering for life.
The more complicated answer is that we are all animal lovers in my family and have adopted all of our pets from the Maryland SPCA.
When my kids were little, they would ask me to take them there just to visit the animals. It broke our hearts to see so many wonderful animals in need of homes and love. We ended up leaving with a new pet too often, and we had to draw the line on any more adoptions. Fostering gives us a way to continue to help the pets at the Maryland SPCA, without adding any more animals to our household.
There is also the satisfaction of helping to restore a pet’s health and trust in people. Whatever brought them to the shelter, we can help make it better.
Fostering is a very easy way to make the world a better place for people and their animals, and it doesn’t cost a cent. Every one of my fosters has gone on to a great home. Both the pets and their adopters benefit from the adoption process, because the MD SPCA does such a good job.
My last and perhaps strongest reason for fostering is that it is therapeutic for all of us. Pet therapy is a real thing! No matter how hard your day was, when you sit on a couch or the floor and kittens crawl into your lap or behind your neck, all the stress melts away and you can just enjoy the warmth and affection.
I won’t stop fostering because I enjoy it so much and it’s the easiest way I know to feel good about your life.