So you’re fostering a pet. Now what?

Above all, your responsibility as a foster home is to provide a safe and loving home for your new foster pet. This can mean many things from providing proper care for your foster pet to helping your foster pet get adopted into a safe, loving, forever home. 

So what can you do to help your foster pet get adopted? 

  1.     Make sure your foster pet is ready for adoption 

Many foster pets are already spayed or neutered, as well as microchipped and vaccinated. However, if your pet is not, it is your responsibility to ensure they are fully vetted as soon as possible so they are ready to be adopted. If they are not fully vetted, you can hit speed bumps after finding a potential adopter for your foster pet. If you are fostering from Miami-Dade Animal Services, your pet will receive all necessary care and services directly from MDAS. If you are fostering a pet for another shelter or rescue, speak directly with them about the specific needs of your foster pet.

  1.    Create successful bios for your foster pet

Each pet has an individual personality and offers different relationships for different adopters. Create a bio for your foster pet that shows off its personality and individual quirks.  Things like how they interact with children and other pets, whether your pet likes walks, or toys or to play in water, and your pet’s “rescue story,” if you know it. Beyond a bio, take fun and compelling pictures and videos of your foster pet and be sure to use natural light when possible and avoid using flash photography to get the best pictures of your foster pet.  Show your pet in different environments and remember that getting closer to their level can help you get the perfect angle.  Record videos of your foster playing fetch or responding to basic obedience commands to show potential adopters how much training is necessary when they adopt and differentiate the pet from other pets up for adoption. Show potential adopters the GOOD things about the pet and leave the bad things for the meet & greet. Always be sure to be honest and thorough in the information you share to ensure the best possible outcome for your foster pet.

  1.     Use social media to promote the adoption of your foster pet

Since you are already going to be taking pictures and videos of your foster pet for use in adoption profiles, you should use them as well to promote your pet on social media. Post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat. Be sure to tag @fomapets when you do, and your pet could be featured in our campaigns and you may get some free publicity for your pet to find a forever home. If your foster is from Miami-Dade Animal Services, include the pet’s ID number as a hashtag in all posts. Remember to send the pet’s profile to your own contacts and see if anyone you know is looking to adopt. You may just make a perfect match for your pet and for your friend.

  1.     Get involved in (virtual) adoption events

While many of us are staying home during this time, shelters and adoption programs must get creative with how they have adoption events. Find digital adoption events that you can use to introduce your foster pet to potential adopters. These may be difficult for you to get involved in, so get creative with it. Go live on social media and show off what your daily experiences with your foster pet are. Or look for communities online that connect foster homes with potential adopters. Shelters and adoption services across the world are seeing an uptick in fostering and adoptions, so there are resources to help you find your foster pet its forever home.

  1.     Enjoy your time with your foster pet

Fostering a pet will require a commitment from you to properly care for your pet, but it can be a very rewarding experience. In these uncertain times in which people are self-isolating in their homes, days can seem long and monotonous. Spending time with a pet prevents the feeling of loneliness and both you and your foster pet benefit. Go for walks so you both can relax,  get some fresh air together and train your foster pet in basic obedience, so your pet can be ready for its forever home. What better way to spend some of your extra time at home!

  1.     It is okay to “foster fail”

Sometimes when fostering, you begin to fall in love with your foster pet. It is completely okay for you to decide that fostering is not right for you, but adoption is. All you have to do is put in an application with the shelter from which you’re fostering. If this sounds like you, make sure to do it quickly before someone else gets the chance! Fosters are encouraged to make their home a foster pet’s forever home and sometimes there’s nothing better than a “foster fail”!

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