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Any Foster Experiences and Advice?

AutumnRain

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I'm considering fostering small dogs and kittens. They would be kept in another room away from Emery (door closed in bedroom for Emery). Is there anything I should know about what to expect when fostering animals?

I'm doing my research first, and I also really need to think about whether this is even a good thing for me to take on or not. I would love to hear about your experiences with fostering animals. I feel like saying goodbye to them so they can go to their new homes would be rewarding, but also extremely difficult. I'm a little worried saying farewell will be too difficult for me and that I will end up adopting too many animals. Right now, I'm only looking to adopt a dog, and not even immediately at that.

If I do decide to foster animals, are there any transmitable diseases or parasites from dogs and cats that would be contagious to Emery? I know saliva is the worst. Like I said, they would be separated and everything, but it would be good to know regardless.
 

expressmailtome

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Bump.
 

sunnysmom

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I think it's great that you want to foster. I know that the rescue here always needs people to foster kittens. If it was a kitten, I would probably feel okay. I think I would be nervous having an unknown adult cat around my bird. I'm saying this because I just saw my feral cat that I take care of kill a baby bunny. I've never seen this cat show any interest in any animal before- birds, squirrels, etc. so I was pretty shocked. But that's their instinct. Anyway, I think even with precautions it could be risky.

Have you thought about fostering birds? Fostering is rewarding but also hard. You do get attached. I've shed tears over every bird that's left my house. But there are so many animals out there in need of help. And that's what you have to keep telling yourself- that helping an animal find a new home allows you then to help more. I know our parrot rescue can only take in as many birds as they have foster homes. So for everyone foster that keeps a bird, that's one less bird they can typically take in then. And sometimes you just know that a bird isn't a right fit for your house. For instance, the little parrotlet I fostered- cutest thing ever- really needed to be in a home with other little birds where he could fly around, etc. That wasn't my home. So now he lives very happily with a budgie friend where they're out most of the day. So, that's rewarding. Knowing that you helped an animal find their perfect home. :)
 

AutumnRain

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@sunnysmom, thank you for replying. I remembered reading your posts about Elvis before I got Emery and was still just reading about and researching birds. As you can probably tell, I love birds. :)

The only reason I wasn't considering fostering them, is because I don't want to bring home any airborne illnesses to Emery. I figured that after a proper quarantine with small dogs and kittens that I may foster, I can at least put a tall gate up with a magnetic screen so Emery can still go into and fly other rooms with me safely, while still being fully separated from them, but with any airborne diseases that other birds may have, I wouldn't be able to do that.

I definitely think fostering kittens and not adult cats would be the only way to go about it. There's no way I would feel safe fostering adult cats here with Emery. Kittens are easier to keep separate. I would still do the same tall gate, and magnetic screen door thing to keep them apart though.
 

Love My Zons

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As they say fostering saves lives. I used to think that I would be able to do this.

I never have, but wished I could. I know I could be a short term (if I had no other pets)

Many of the rescues around here, sometimes need temporary foster. Or very young kittens that need to be bottle fed. That I could surely do, l love the tiny ones.

The real life reality is I cannot at this time. The balance of all of my very own dog wise can't be possible. I wish I could, but it isn't possible.

If you can be able to let them go, your awesome! To bring them in, even better. For your home and bird safety, if kept apart you shouldn't have any issues.

Adult cats, maybe an issue with prey drive, but little small kittens easier, but they grow and are lightning fast at running and jumping as they hit 3 plus months old.

Let's just say you have alot to consider. It's a wonderful thing to do. Some very large rescue organizations rely on fosters to be able to pull dogs and cats from shelters. Some are so well funded they pay for all the vetting.

You are sweet for asking about this, you have an animal loving heart ;)
 

SamanthaAV

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I think it's great that you want to foster. I know that the rescue here always needs people to foster kittens. If it was a kitten, I would probably feel okay. I think I would be nervous having an unknown adult cat around my bird. I'm saying this because I just saw my feral cat that I take care of kill a baby bunny. I've never seen this cat show any interest in any animal before- birds, squirrels, etc. so I was pretty shocked. But that's their instinct. Anyway, I think even with precautions it could be risky.

Have you thought about fostering birds? Fostering is rewarding but also hard. You do get attached. I've shed tears over every bird that's left my house. But there are so many animals out there in need of help. And that's what you have to keep telling yourself- that helping an animal find a new home allows you then to help more. I know our parrot rescue can only take in as many birds as they have foster homes. So for everyone foster that keeps a bird, that's one less bird they can typically take in then. And sometimes you just know that a bird isn't a right fit for your house. For instance, the little parrotlet I fostered- cutest thing ever- really needed to be in a home with other little birds where he could fly around, etc. That wasn't my home. So now he lives very happily with a budgie friend where they're out most of the day. So, that's rewarding. Knowing that you helped an animal find their perfect home. :)
I didn't know bird fosters were in need. My concern would be however, all the avian diseases that could be spread by keeping other birds in the home. Of course new birds should always be quarantined at first but even then I feel like the more you bring into your home the more you run the risk of getting your own birds sick. Is there something you do to work around this?
 

sunnysmom

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@sunnysmom, thank you for replying. I remembered reading your posts about Elvis before I got Emery and was still just reading about and researching birds. As you can probably tell, I love birds. :)

The only reason I wasn't considering fostering them, is because I don't want to bring home any airborne illnesses to Emery. I figured that after a proper quarantine with small dogs and kittens that I may foster, I can at least put a tall gate up with a magnetic screen so Emery can still go into and fly other rooms with me safely, while still being fully separated from them, but with any airborne diseases that other birds may have, I wouldn't be able to do that.

I definitely think fostering kittens and not adult cats would be the only way to go about it. There's no way I would feel safe fostering adult cats here with Emery. Kittens are easier to keep separate. I would still do the same tall gate, and magnetic screen door thing to keep them apart though.
Elvis was kind of an intentional foster fail LOL. We took him as "foster with intent to adopt". Which is something nice that our rescue will let you do to make sure the bird is the right fit in your home. I have my foster Scooter, the tiel right now too. With fostering birds you just have to be cautious. The birds at our rescue get vet checks and then quarantine is always recommended still. Honestly, I broke that with Scooter. He had lived his entire life as an only bird (he's 20). So after his vet check I did let him be in the same room as Elvis. I felt pretty comfortable that since he had never been around other birds that it would be okay. And he basically went straight from being dropped off from his former family to my house. But each fostering case is different of course.

There are certainly a lot of dogs and cats that need foster homes too. So I am sure any rescue would be very happy to have your help. :)
 
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sunnysmom

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I didn't know bird fosters were in need. My concern would be however, all the avian diseases that could be spread by keeping other birds in the home. Of course new birds should always be quarantined at first but even then I feel like the more you bring into your home the more you run the risk of getting your own birds sick. Is there something you do to work around this?
There is a huge need for bird fosters. Our local rescue here has a wait list of people wanting to surrender their birds. The rescue doesn't have an actual facility so all of the birds are in foster homes, and right now the rescue doesn't have enough fosters for all the birds. Basically when a bird gets adopted out then another comes in. You have to be cautious definitely. All of the birds are vet checked. The intake person tries to get all the information they can from the person surrendering also. And then quarantine. Depending on the situation, the bird is sometimes quarantined at one home before bringing it to the "permanent" foster. It just depends. I don't take more than one or two in at a time but that's more to do with my ability to care for them. Part of fostering is to also get them on a better diet, train them, get them to be able to be handled, get a feel for their personality, etc so that they can be adopted out to a home that's a good fit. I keep my bird downstairs. The fosters go in a room upstairs until I feel it's okay for my bird to be around them- if ever. Elvis, my 'too, doesn't meet all of them. It just again, depends on the situation.
 

AutumnRain

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@sunnysmom Taking in a bird that has been an only bird in one home before sounds like a great option to minimize contagious risks. I hadn't even thought of that. Hmm...I might just have to do that too. I feel fairly comfortable with up to Amazon-sized parrots, so that would give me a lot of fostering options. I would definitely still want to foster a kitten and dogs. I think I could comfortably handle fostering one at a time.

I would love to foster to adopt. I had contacted the Humane Society that is an hour and 16 minutes away, but unfortunately I was out of the area required for vet visits by only 16 minutes. There was a dog on their list that I was really hoping to foster to adopt. He was off the list by the next day. I'm really hoping he went to a great home. He looked like such a sweetheart.
 

sunnysmom

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@sunnysmom Taking in a bird that has been an only bird in one home before sounds like a great option to minimize contagious risks. I hadn't even thought of that. Hmm...I might just have to do that too. I feel fairly comfortable with up to Amazon-sized parrots, so that would give me a lot of fostering options. I would definitely still want to foster a kitten and dogs. I think I could comfortably handle fostering one at a time.

I would love to foster to adopt. I had contacted the Humane Society that is an hour and 16 minutes away, but unfortunately I was out of the area required for vet visits by only 16 minutes. There was a dog on their list that I was really hoping to foster to adopt. He was off the list by the next day. I'm really hoping he went to a great home. He looked like such a sweetheart.
It's sometimes hard. I completely understand why some rescues have their geographic areas, etc. but some potential great adopters get left out. Here is my secret confession, I almost adopted a dog a few weeks ago. Me, who has said no dogs to my fiancé for years. But a friend posted on FB a picture of this little dog and he was so adorable and just really spoke to me. He just looked sad and scared and in need of lots of love. I actually went on line to see if the rescue would adopt to us, as we're a couple hours away. They would and the fiancé was thrilled with the idea. But then, we had a bit of a family emergency- nothing too serious, but the dog got adopted before I got the application submitted. Which really is for the best because we really don't need a dog on top of everything else. I just hope he went to a great home.
 

AutumnRain

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@sunnysmom, Aww, I know exactly what you mean. The little guy I was looking at had one picture of him where he was in that small steel cage they get put in. He looked so sad. All I could think about was getting him out of there. I could have tried to adopt him, since I think they wouldn't be as strict about distance, but I feel like it's really important to make sure whatever dog I do end up adopting is a good fit first. I would hate to have to put them through the trauma of having to go back to the shelter if they weren't a good fit. That would be awful.

I know there are shelters and rescues closer to me. I think I've made up my mind about fostering. I really want to. I just need to apply to places nearby. Hopefully some of them are willing to do fostering to adopt as well.
 

melissasparrots

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I fostered a sheltie once. My cat started out as a foster and then I adopted her. Make sure you know that often happens and either only choose to foster breeds that you don't have an interest in keeping, or make sure you can actually part with them. You may need to continue training or deal with house breaking and separation anxiety and all manner of bad habits. You should be prepared to ask the shelter if they want you to expose them to other dogs and cats to see how they get along. Potential adopters like to know if their new dog has aggression problems with other dogs, problems around food bowls, anxiety in crates, what stage of house breaking they are in, how they are around kids etc.
 

scrape

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I fostered some bottle baby kittens. The bird rescue nearest to me rarely fosters out, so that was never an option. I would honestly just stay keep your distance when fostering, it can be so hard to give them back:sad2:, trust me. So just don't get too attached and you're good.
 

SmallFeather

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My family has fostered underage kittens and puppies along with the occasional shy and fearful dog, with me being the main caretaker. The hardest part about fostering is finding the middle ground between worry and day to day normality. It is so easy to worry about fosters, especially the underaged ones, all the time but it is important (especially if there are pets or young children around) to keep your schedule normal and to remember that fostering is supposed to be an enjoyable experience. It is also important to remember that unless the foster has its own safe enclosed room or gated area, it should always be supervised. For kittens, my family kitten-proofs a spare bathroom and turns it into a temporary cat wonderland for their stay. For puppies, we get a puppy enclosure and put it in our family area, although that only works for very young puppies. We once tried to keep a shy and fearful 6 month old bull terrier-cattle dog mix in a puppy enclosure instead of a crate while we ran an errand, and we discovered when we got back that the dog had learned how to climb up the gate and out and had been running around the house while we were gone, lol. My advice for adult dogs is to crate them when you aren't there (only for reasonable amounts of time of course). I would start with kittens, as they are easiest and typically are reliable with litter-boxes, but wouldn't get more than three or just one for your first go. A lone foster kitten can get lonely and you will get insanely attached, but on the flip side, when there are more kittens around then you have hands there can be some problems. The most rewarding fosters are for sure they shy and fearful ones, though they are the ones with the most risk to you and your animals so I would not start with that. Fostering can be so much fun if you prepare properly and do it with a good shelter, and I would highly recommend giving it a try.
 

AutumnRain

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Awesome advice, everyone! Thank you! :)
 
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