In the UK many animal rescue and welfare charities offer pets on a temporary, foster basis as well as for adoption into a permanent home. The rules tend to be much the same for adoption as for fostering in that:-
Find out as much history as you can about your prospective foster pet to ensure that you are well suited.
Make sure that you are fully aware of any cost implications. At least one of our local dog rescue charities contributes towards the cost of a foster pet. In one case all the vets bills are paid for, whilst the other charity pays for everything including food for the dog. This may sound expensive for the charity but it is cheaper, and better for the animal, than keeping it in kennels.
When we took a foster dog into our home the initial cost of spaying, after her first season, was paid for by the charity and that was all.
However we never really asked for anything else and I suppose, as with most things in this life, it is up for negotiation.
One thing though that I would like to mention is prepare yourself for separation and always keep in your mind that your foster pet is temporary. More than ten years down the road Jessie our foster dog is still with us and I guess she is going nowhere.
If I could have been sure that a good home was found for her when she was young I would have willingly parted company with her, however my husband within a short time became so attached to Jess that she was given permanent fixture status.
Fostering an animal, especially if you are not able to re-home on a permanent basis, is very worthwhile and rewarding. Usually both the family and the animal benefit from the experience.
Remember though that some animals in desperate need of a new home may have many problems.
Our Jess had been very ill-treated despite her young year when she came to us. Consequently she was a very naughty dog for a few months and very hard work.
Suffice to say she is not now but those first few months were a testing time for all. Contact a local charity to discuss the options for fostering an animal. It may be that you will be accepted as a regular foster owner.
There is also the option to foster an animal you may never actually meet simply on a monetary basis.
Some animal sanctuaries advertise for long distance fosterers who will supply the money needed for the animal to survive. With regular small payments it is possible to contribute vitally to an animal's well-being.
Foster certificates are on sale online and make great gifts for Christmas and Birthdays.
Check out 'Sponsor' a rescued Dog at Hillside
Reading that a lurcher dog has been "found "confused and frightened" after apparently being abandoned outside a house in Peterborough" makes me wonder about the proud claim that "we are a nation of animal lovers."
The U.K. may have a better relationship with its animals than some countries but scratch the surface and you wonder if that is really true.
Jessie, our late girl above, came to us on a temporary basis after she was abandoned.
Aged around nine months she was left tied to a tree in the garden of her former home when her owners moved house. Jessie was in some ways one of the lucky ones.
Local dog rescue workers lived close by and her former owners knew that. She was not unscathed however from her early life experiences.
On the upside she lived with us more than 14 years, yes I know what happened to temporary, before she sadly died. Blind in later life she remained one of the sweetest-natured dogs we have ever had the pleasure of sharing our home with.
If you can help the RSPCA track down the person who abandoned the lurcher at the start of this story:
There could be many reasons why the dog was abandoned.
But if you find you can no longer care properly for your pet abandoning should not be an option you even consider.
As for a nation of animal lovers - is that really a description that is fit for purpose in 2017?
Give a lurcher a home SOS
It can be relatively quick to adopt or re-home a dog or a lengthy process. Sometimes it is important that the dog becomes part of a home in the near future.
It is not good for a dog to be in and out of a shelter, no matter how good that shelter and rescue service is.
We have adopted in the past from local dog rescue service Hessle Dog Rescue and the RSPCA. The process is similar between most re-homing organisations. Tinka came by way of Hull Oakwood Canine Services and this is what the adoption process can entail.
Home check and requirements
Although there are many animals in need of a new home it is important that it is not just any household. Some dogs are better in a child free environment whilst others will blossom in a home full of kids.
Make sure you are fully aware of what a particular dog may need from you and be totally honest with the rescue service. It will help the adoption be a successful one.
A representative of the rescue service will visit your home to ensure that you have a suitable environment for a dog. This usually means ensuring that you have a yard or garden with fencing or walls of a reasonable height.
The cost will vary but it could cost more than you imagine. This is to ensure that you are making a commitment to your new pet. The money helps cover any costs your dog has meant to the rescue charity, for example medical bills and food, with perhaps a donation to the charity included. These charities are always financially stretched.
Neutering or spaying
These days rescue dogs are always either neutered, if a male, or spayed if a female. This helps to prevent more unwanted puppies and heartbreak.
Your donation will include a fee for this and probably also for microchipping.
Whether your dog is large or small it will cost you in time and money. If you are not prepared to give the animal 110% you should not be adopting a dog. Instead volunteer at the rescue as a dog walker or become a fund-raiser.
So the basic costs could include:
Quite a list but not an exhaustive one.
You can sometimes utilise items around the home. An old curtain or blanket could provide comfort in a dog bed. The bed could be a sturdy cardboard box rather than a costly one bought from a specialist supplier.
It is lovely to treat your pet to a new purpose bought bed but that is not an essential requirement. Ask advice at the rescue service.
In truth though if money is very tight adopting a dog is not a good idea.