Sometimes I think I have a fostering addiction.
To be fair, there was some thought about bringing this guy home – he is a very short term foster (got here on Tuesday, likely leaving on Monday) and he is eight months old and spazzy, which is the perfect match for Garfunkel. They have not stopped chewing on each other since Arthur got here.
At the shelter I work for, we rarely adopt dogs out of a foster home, but fosters still serve an important role in our animal care. Unless an animal is extremely stressed in the shelter or not showing well because of behavioral issues, they have the best chance of getting adopted quickly when actually physically at the shelter.
However, there are many reasons an animal can’t go up for adoption right away or stay in the adoption kennels. The most common (and the reason Arthur is with us) is upper respiratory infection, a cold-like disease that spreads quickly in a kennel environment (also called kennel cough for that reason). Sometimes an animal has heartworm and needs to stay in a home environment while treated. Some have an injury like a broken leg. Some kittens or puppies may be too young to be adopted out yet. Nursing mothers spend time in foster homes to avoid the disease and stress of the shelter.
After an animal has overcome the ailment that landed it in foster, they generally head back to the shelter to get adopted. So Arthur, provided he is over his cold by then, will be leaving after the weekend.
I actually have quite a bit of fun with these short term fosters – they usually make nice playmates for my other dogs, and by the time the novelty wears off for everyone and they don’t care to play as much anymore, the foster goes back and finds its forever home. It’s beneficial for everyone because it frees up space at the shelter for other sick animals and allows the sick animal to recover in a less stressful environment. On the other hand I am not as intimately involved with the adoption of these guys like I was with Kringle or with be with Garfunkel so I just have to trust our adoption counselors to find them a perfect home (and they always do).