Last month, we asked the folks at Jaiya’s Animal Rescue to help us write up a guide for what you should do if you find a stray animal and your heart won’t let you let it be. Now we’re tackling the question of whether or not you should consider offering your home to one of these animals, from either just a couple of weeks to permanently. Save allergy issues and time constraints, we think you should! And here’s why:
Every year, during the Spring/Summer season, many animals are born and abandoned in the streets, gardens and parks of Shanghai. Jaiya’s Animal Rescue (JAR) and other animal rescue groups do their best to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home abandoned animals since all of them deserve a second chance in life. However, a major problem during this season is the number of animals being rescued coupled by the lack of foster parents and resources to help with this task.
Do you how important is the foster parent role in the running of an animal rescue organization? Do you know about the different types of foster parents needed?
In this article we present you four excellent reasons for being a foster parent while you are living in Shanghai and the different types of foster parents that you can be:
1 . Fostering is an ideal activity for people that love animals but cannot commit to having a lifelong pet in China. In fact, every additional foster parent that animal rescue groups can get represents in most cases the difference between life and death for animals abandoned in the streets, gardens and parks of Shanghai. Aside from regular day-to-day care (feeding, grooming, exercise), the responsibilities of a foster home may include basic training (housetraining, walking on leash, etc); behavior modification (to correct problems such as jumping, mouthing, barking, destructive chewing, dashing through doors, etc); socialization and temperament evaluation
(to determine whether the dog or cat is good with different types of people and other animals); medical care (dispensing medication, taking the animal to vet appointments), and of course plenty of playtime and snuggling.
2 . Most animal rescue groups in Shanghai do not have a shelter, so they depend on the help of rescuers and foster parents to take care of kittens, cats, puppies and dogs until they are adopted. The more foster parents they have, the bigger the number of abandoned and/or neglected animals they can help. In fact, a shelter is not a good option in many ways because dogs and cats can lose touch with being in a home environment. Hereafter, a network of foster homes can take a dog or cat in and give them the care and training they need: the one that can only be accomplished at home. Fostering also bridges the gap between total abandonment and a permanent home. Just think of a shelter dog’s day: they can be in their cage (without human
contact) for more than 18 hours. If you multiply that by how many days they can be at the
shelter, then the risk with a long-term dog or cat is that they lose touch and exposure to a loving home, interacting with people and even with other pets.
3 . It is a hugely rewarding experience to give an abandoned and/or mistreated animal a second chance to recover its health, as well as to provide him with love and affection while he/she is waiting to get a permanent loving home. The most amazing thing is that rescued animals respond to your care with lots of love … they cannot talk, but certainly they show how much they appreciate all your efforts. Fostering a dog or cat may seem like a formidable task, but it is a very tangible way to make a difference. Everyone benefits: the foster parent gets to spend time with a special dog or cat, while an animal rescue group gets valuable help with rescued animals. The foster dog or cat gets a break from a very hard life of abandonment and neglect, and a second chance at becoming a cherished pet. Then, the new owners get a dog or cat that is better adapted to home life, and therefore has a better chance of remaining in the new home
4 . Pets reduce stress and anxiety! According to some studies, interacting with a dog or cat is a profound and effective stress reducer. It increases feelings of contentment and relaxation. Not for nothing dogs are described as man’s best friend! (even though for some people this applies to their cats!). Walking and/or playing with a pet is an effective mean of spending quality time at home, make exercise, reduce stress and anxiety, forget about the problems of the day … and to give your foster cat or dog lots of love, exercise and entertainment! Please consider to be a foster parent … abandoned animals will appreciate your help with all their hearts!
Animal rescue organizations such as JAR always need more foster parents. For you it is a great way to have a “temporary” pet here in Shanghai if you cannot adopt, miss your own pet from home, you want to have a furry companion in general or if your own pet needs a friend to play and have company. By being a foster parent you get a companion and help save an animal at the same time! In the particular case of JAR, it needs to have foster parents for emergency cases (1-2 days) or long-term to foster dogs, cats, kittens or puppies.
In a similar way, JAR also needs “special care” foster parents who are willing to take in sick animals or animals that require bottle feeding in a regular basis every day. It would be ideal to have additional foster parents available during the holidays as sometimes foster parents, rescuers or adopters go on holidays (summer holidays, the October and May holidays, Christmas and Chinese New Year) or back to their home countries too.
JAR is always grateful to foster parents because it takes dedication, time and love. When you see a five-day old kitten or puppy survive because of the efforts that foster parents make, it is a wonderful feeling of accomplishment! So, if you like the idea of being a foster parent, please send us an e-mail! The JAR Group will be very happy to have your help!!!
Curious about what animals are up for adoption? Shanghaiist features some every month with our Pet of the Month articles. Both Jaiya’s Animal Rescue and Second Chance Animal Aid have adopt-a-thons once a month for prospective new parents.