This is the first in our “Hidden Gems” series where we send you a throwback blog post you may have missed, but has great information. Enjoy!

November 28, 2011


By David Carlyon, GPG Foster/Blogger/Photographer

There are lots of selfless reasons to foster a dog or cat; You help a poor, homeless animal who may be barely surviving on the streets, braving the elements, parasites, other dangerous animals, and human cruelty. You also help relieve other beleaguered humanitarians and shelters who are overwhelmed with too many dogs to care for. And you also help transform a ragged street animal into a beautiful pet for another family.

But seriously, who cares about all that? Allow me to channel Ayn Rand a bit, and look at some of the selfish reasons to foster a dog or cat.

1. It’s free! Sure, you can donate if you want, or help cover some of the costs, or get optional goodies for your foster pet, like treats and toys. But pet rescue organizations cover all the

veterinary bills, and many of them offer free pet food, toys, and treats when available.

2. No commitment! You keep the pet for a while, until somebody adopts it. If you want to have a pet around for a little while, but want to keep your lifestyle flexible, you don’t have to worry about the future. If the pet isn’t adopted before your circumstances change, the group will find another foster home to take over for you.

3. Entertainment value! Foster pets are great to have around. They can make you smile and laugh.

4. Experience! You don’t have to settle on one breed, or a mix. You can get experience with a wide variety of breeds, mixes, sizes, and temperaments in a relatively short period of time.

5. You get first dibs if you decide you want to keep the pet! Rescue people fondly refer to them as “Foster Failures,” but in my opinion, they’re a success! Your foster pet found the perfect home. It just happened to be yours! But you can foster several animals, until one of them just fits perfectly into your life.

6. Warm Fuzzies! Sometimes, a dog I’m fostering will come up to me, looking so much better than it did a few weeks ago, when we got it off the street, starving, mangy, and disease ridden. He leans against me, or she gives me her paw, as though to quietly say, “Thanks for rescuing me.” It makes you feel pretty good. And isn’t that what selfishness is all about?

For information about becoming a GPG foster, visit our foster page.

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