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