Saturday, October 22, 2011

To Foster or not to Foster

To Foster or not to Foster

With so many animals in shelters and rescue organizations many citizens want to do something but don’t know where to begin.  Many citizens give money and think that’s the end of the story unfortunately that's not the end of the story...actually it’s the beginning.  Many animals that are in shelters and rescues have issues that need to be addressed.  Money takes care of  the physical wounds, broken limb(s), torn ear, gashes on various parts of their bodies, cracked skull etc. however, their care goes deeper.  What about their emotional state of mind?  Who’s going to be there while they’re healing? Volunteers come and go during “working” hours but what they need is a soft voice, a gentle caress, a warm body to snuggle up against, someone to make them feel safe to let them know they won’t be hurt anymore. There are questions that come in, what if I don’t have time? I have a family” what are my friends or family going to think? I already have x amount dogs/cats. Those that want to foster these and many other questions or comments they face.

I was one of those who wanted to do something but didn’t have the money to give to the organization so I adopted Sasha who bought so much joy and love into the life of my family that we adopted another pitbull.  To me I did my part I took two dogs off the rescues hand; it felt good we bought awareness to the plight of pit bulls so my job was done.  Not so because there are many more animals that need help.  Again, I was faced with a decision I’d been toiling foster or not to foster. Many questions and concerns swirled around my head as if my name was Dorothy caught in that terrible tornado storm that took her from Kansas.  What will my family & friends say? Do I have the space? We’re a busy family, maybe we don’t have time.  My neighbor doesn’t like my second dog now I’m bringing another pit bull in the community. Friends telling me I need toget a life and leave dogs alone. Are you becoming a hoarder?  The flow of questions continues to go on.While all of these questions and concerns were swirling around more pit bullswere dying, being abused and communities were still proposing and enacting a Breed Specific Legislation (BSL).  The question became what are you willing to sacrifice? Are you going to be selfishand be content with what you’ve done? We can do what we want to do when we want to do it when it comes to ourselves but how much are we as a society willing to sacrifice for others.

 After consulting with my family we decided to FOSTER.  The void that was there is no longer there, all the questions and concerns that were swirling in my head have settled, there’s a calm in the air while there’s organized chaos at my house.  What’s ironic is those that I thought weren’t going to support are very supportive and understanding.  So you’re faced with the decision of whether to foster or volunteer asset the situation, do your homework and follow your heart! Money is good to keep the organization open and running however, the true reward is seeing how the animal you saved showing their appreciation and gratitude to you for opening your house and your heart.

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