[Opinion] How to be a successful animal foster parent


Suzie is currently being fostered by Samantha Goldblum until she can find a forever home. Photo by Samantha Goldblum

Samantha Goldblum

Suzie is currently being fostered by Samantha Goldblum until she can find a forever home. Photo by Samantha Goldblum

During this time of quarantine, many people are stuck at home with little to nothing to do. To be productive, there are a wide variety of things to do that are fulfilling.

For me, it was to take in a foster dog. Before getting the dog or any pet that you are interested in fostering, it is important to think about if this is the right decision for both you and the animal. 

Some aspects to consider before deciding to foster an animal would be your home, family and the time you have available to care for the animal. If you have a fenced yard, your family likes animals, your other pets are friendly and you have time to devote to the animal, you may be a perfect fit.

Once you decide that you would like to take home a foster animal there are plenty of sites to visit that need your help. I went to the Broward Humane Society’s website and filled out some forms online as the first step to get my foster dog.

I was chosen to be a foster parent and was emailed a video telling me what to expect and how to be successful. Then, I selected a dog from a list on the website who I thought (based on the description of her) seemed to be a match.

Within a few weeks of submitting the forms, I was asked to bring my own dog into the Shelter to meet the foster dog, Suzie. When they got along well, we took Suzie home that day.

The shelter will provide you with anything and everything you need including a bed, bowls, leash, food and toys.

It is important to remember when having a foster dog that you can never be 100% sure what they have been through and what will trigger them, so until you get to know the dog you must keep them on a leash for at least two days.

We quickly learned that the dog we were fostering must have been around people a lot since she is extremely affectionate. Weighing over sixty pounds, she still thinks she is a lap dog.

Having a foster animal is a lot of work but can also be very rewarding. When you take a foster dog in, you are building character for the dog and creating a “resume” of what the dog is like so people can see if they are interested in adopting. 

Some animals may adapt more quickly than others, however, as time goes on, you and the animal will develop a bond. Many foster parents end up adopting the pet that they took into their home.