What exactly does fostering mean? It means bringing a homeless animal into your home, caring for them, providing them with affection and socialization, until a permanent family comes along who will love them forever.
Many times rescues who have no central facility, rely solely on foster homes to determine how many animals they can pull from county shelters, who may be long term residents and/or at risk of euthanasia due to overcrowding.
We take in dogs that have experienced abuse, cruelty, neglect, terrible shelter conditions, etc. As a foster, you have the chance and opportunity to gain a dogs trust, show them human touch and love perhaps for the first time, provide an environment for them to feel safe, and watch them transform before your eyes.
If you have existing pets, introducing a animal can be a great experience for them as an additional companion, additional socialization, and an additional playmate! Children can benefit from fostering as a way to introduce responsibility, selflessness, a way to educate about animals, and is also a great way to "test" the idea of a permanent animal into the home in the future.
When the day comes, that your foster finds that perfect home, the rewarding feeling you will experience is something very special. You will feel a sense of pride, in knowing what you helped that dog accomplish in his time with you. You will feel overjoyed, that he/she has found his/her forever family and a happy ending that all homeless dogs so desire. And while certainly, some goodbyes can be tough, knowing that a dog has found their happy ending and that another precious life awaits to be afforded your gifts, is as good of a feeling as there is!