AC Pup pays tribute to foster parents

September 6, 2013 

I’ve noticed there’s a never-ending supply of homeless and abandoned animals that need help. Everywhere you turn there’s a pitiful, starving stray literally struggling for survival. It never ends.

Although this is a significant problem in our area because we have too many animals that aren’t spayed or neutered, this problem isn’t unique to our community. Unfortunately, the Southeast has an abundance of homeless animals.

Folks in the Northeast appear to have figured out how to prevent animal overpopulation. They seem to be really diligent about getting pets altered so no unwanted litters are born.

They’ve done such a good job managing the pet population in the Northeast that some states seek adoptable pets from us because we have too many. That’s really a good thing I guess, but it’s also a little embarrassing because we could prevent overpopulation in our area, too. It’s not rocket science.

Nevertheless, we have a good relationship with folks up north who accept animals otherwise headed to the pounds. We can give these pets a chance at a great life.

But before pets can be rehomed, they’re typically required to stay in foster homes for some time. Foster parents care for them, love them, feed them, socialize them and generally work to make sure they’re well adjusted.

Sometimes this is a daunting task for foster parents because some of the pets have been deserted, abused or mistreated in the past. It takes a very special person to be a foster parent to a pet with issues. But sometimes the love and patience shown to this pet makes the difference in whether he’s considered adoptable.

Foster parents invest an incredible amount of time, attention and emotion into the precious creatures in their care. And most foster parents have furry family members of their own that help with the care and socialization of the additional temporary visitor as well.

And temporary is the key term here. The day will come that the foster parent must give up the foster pet.

You see, those who are kind enough to be foster parents are typically sweet, tenderhearted people who love easily and deeply. So that means when it comes time to part with the treasured pet they’ve been caring for, their hearts are broken.

And foster parents’ personal dogs and cats are saddened by the departure, too. It’s difficult for them to understand where the foster baby went. They’ll spend days searching for the missing pet.

I have the greatest admiration for foster parents. They love big and grieve hard. Then they foster another needy baby all over again. They foster again, knowing they’ll shed tears in the near future. But they do it anyway to save a life. What a selfless thing to do.

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