From Foster Home to “Furever” Home

By Jacqui Dziak

Do you ever find yourself scrolling through PHS adoptable pets considering if it is a good time for you to adopt, or wondering if your dog or cat would like a buddy? Fostering takes the wonder away and gives you the opportunity to see without obligation. Maybe you would like a pet in your home but can only commit for a short time. Great! Fostering is a short-term commitment. When you foster a shelter pet, you take it home with the goal of nurturing them for a while until they are ready to find their forever homes. Fostering a shelter pet is an amazing experience that far outweighs any fear that you might get too attached. In fact, fear not! If you get attached, you can adopt your foster pet. There are numerous reasons to consider fostering a shelter pet.

1. Fostering Saves Lives
Period. There are animals that just don’t do well in the shelter environment, and some are in need of respite. Many are fearful and some behave defensively. Giving an animal a safe and loving home when it is scared or too young to be adopted from a shelter is crucial for the healthy development and socialization of the animal. Fostering gives potential adopters the opportunity to see what an animal is like in a real home setting. Fostering also allows animals the opportunity to put their best paw forward to find “furever” homes.

2. Fostering Offers a “Test Drive”
Have you been thinking about getting a pet, but aren’t quite sure if you are ready? Do you have a fear of commitment? Fostering gives you the opportunity to test drive pet parenting, offering the experience of having a pet 24/7 without the long-term commitment. Fostering can also give you the opportunity to see if your children are ready for a pet. When your youngster promises to walk and feed Fido every day, you can foster a pet to see how real those promises are. Chances are the promises won’t matter because you will fall in love with walking and feeding Fido yourself. There is also no financial commitment to fostering. The Pasadena Humane Society will help you get set up with the supplies you need and cover any medical costs for your foster pet.

3. Cat or Dog person?
It is an age-old question: Are you a cat or dog person? Turns out you are a rabbit person! Who knew?! Fostering different shelter pets gives you the opportunity to see if you are truly a cat or dog or rabbit (or turtle) person.

4. You Have Baby Fever but Don’t Want (any more) Kids
We can help with that! Every spring and summer, the shelter is flooded with hundreds of very young kittens. We call it “Kitten Season.” Because kittens must be at least two pounds before they can be spayed or neutered, we need foster volunteers to care for them until they grow to that weight. Many of these very young kittens also need round-the-clock feedings. If you truly have baby fever, bottle feeding a kitten will scratch that itch. And did we mention that kittens are ridiculously cute?

5. Add Cuteness to your Social Media Feed
Gain attention and popularity among your friends and followers with the cutest social media posts of your foster pet. Seriously, who doesn’t love a great pet pic? Posting pics of your foster pet will not only increase “likes” on your feed, it will give your foster pet exposure to potential adopters.

6. Fostering Offers Flexibility
Maybe you want a pet, but you can’t because you travel a few months a year. Maybe your work has a busy season and you don’t want to leave your pet alone for long hours. Fostering gives you the opportunity to have the companionship of a pet for a few days to a few months when you can give attention to a pet.

7. Giving is the Best Way to Receive
It is truly remarkable to watch a shy, fearful animal transition into a happy pet in your home. Providing exercise and stimulation to a young, scared or abused animal creates a calmer more trusting pet. Foster pets learn that they are loved and lovable, which only makes your heart bigger. It can sometimes be bittersweet when your foster pet gets adopted, but a momentary sadness gets outweighed by the knowledge that you helped a pet find his forever home- and he could not have done it without you.

If you would like more information on fostering, click here to determine if fostering is right for you. If it seems like something you would be interested in, please email us at