Since these animals have come from situations where they have not been able to depend on humans they will crave this love and comfort, but not know the correct way to go about getting it. They will need a lot of patience and supervision at first, but usually quickly learn how to behave and become an integral part of your family. Many become such a precious part of the family that they are adopted by the foster family. However, that is not an expectation that the HSO makes.
Because of the situations many of our rescues come from, behavioral problems such as chewing, barking, aggression, and difficulty potty training can exist. In most cases, these problems subside as the animal becomes used to living in a home environment, much like a puppy is trained to chew on toys and potty outside. If however, you feel that your foster pet is not making progress, we have trainers that will work with the animal on a regular basis to improve behavior.
If you feel all options have been exhausted, contact the HSO and we will work to make other arrangements for the animal, and if you’re willing, find a different foster pet that is a better fit for you.
As a Foster Parent, your responsibility will be to provide a loving and nurturing environment for an animal that has been abandoned, neglected, or abused. Many of the animals rescued by HSO have never lived in a loving home. Your job as a Foster Parent will be to show them the soft side of humans and to prepare them for the transition to their forever home.
Fostering a needy pet is a richly rewarding experience. It’s also an emotional, often difficult experience that isn’t for everyone – but for those that can do it, it’s an experience that won’t soon be forgotten.
The foster family is not required to attend adoption events, but may if they choose to. To make sure these animals get as much visual exposure as possible, we try to take them to events often. We work at finding the most convenient solution for the foster family in getting that do to the event and home again. This may mean an HSO member or volunteer picking them up from the family, the family may drop them off, or the family could even decide to stay with the animal for the event.
The amount of time an animal may be in foster care varies greatly from animal to animal. Sometimes, for unknown reasons it takes a while to find the perfect forever family, even for the cutest, most well behaved animal. If the foster family can no longer care for an animal HSO will find other accommodations for the animal. A foster family would not be under any contracted amount of time to foster. It literally depends upon the generous nature of the family.
The Humane Society of the Ozarks needs to be made aware of any behavioral problems with the animal immediately in order to provide a solution or make other plans. We make regular calls (or visits if the foster prefers) once a week to check on the animal, so this is a good time to mention any problems so we can get it taken care of as soon as possible. Since our goal is to rehabilitate and socialize the animal in order to find them their forever home, it would be our initial intention to attempt behavioral training. However, if the foster family is not able to assist in the training, we would relocate the animal to another foster or facility. It is our opinion that if the situation is not working out with the foster and can’t be remedied, then it is not in the best interest of either the animal or the foster family. The foster family would not be under any contracted amount of time to foster. It literally depends upon the patience and willingness of the family.
If you become a Foster Parent and your foster pet does not fit into your home or lifestyle, the HSO will work to find a more suitable foster home for the animal and if you’re willing, find a foster that is a better fit for you.
Being a foster parent is a great way to volunteer because you can enjoy all the benefits of having a pet without the lifetime commitment. These animals need as much love as you can give them; if you become a Foster Parent and the circumstances of your life change, contact the HSO and they will make other arrangements for the animal. Being a Foster Parent is something you can do as frequently or infrequently as you wish.
We know what you are thinking… “Oh, I could NEVER do that! I could NEVER give up the pet that I have bonded with!” Well, we know how you feel, because we all felt the same. Admittedly, it is not painless, you do cry, and you miss them. Yet, we promise, the pain disappears when your NEW pet arrives – that NEEDS you. The pain is fleeting compared to the wonderful feeling of knowing that YOU truly saved a pet’s life by allowing us to have enough foster homes. Anyone who fosters must be realistic about the expected outcome: that the animal will be adopted by another family (unless you adopt them yourself). While it is impossible not to become attached to a sweet dog or cat living in your home, it’s necessary to keep your original goals in mind and remain committed to finding the animal a new family.