A large number of animals have come into the BC SPCA’s care throughout 2023, meaning the need for foster care volunteers has also grown significantly.
“Our foster families play an important role in teaching young and under-socialized animals what it’s like to live in a home. The love and consistency these animals receive in a foster home helps them feel more ready when it’s time to join their forever homes,” explains Lindsay Baker, senior manager, volunteer resources for the BC SPCA. “Of course, foster families are hugely beneficial for the animal, but fostering also provides purpose and fulfillment to our volunteers – not to mention, the joy of helping an animal in need. It’s also a great option for those who are considering adopting a pet but are not yet ready to make the lifelong commitment!”
There are often a number of questions on potential foster volunteers’ minds before they reach out and apply. Here are a few of the more common “foster myths” we’ve heard:
Myth #1: It will be expensive for me to foster an animal.
Reality: The BC SPCA provides our foster volunteers with all the training, pet supplies, and support they need to be successful foster families.
Myth #2: Fostering an animal will take up too much of my time.
Reality: Being a foster care volunteer with the BC SPCA is a flexible opportunity allowing volunteers to choose when they are able to help – some commitments are as short as one week and others can last several months.
Myth#3: Only dogs need to be fostered.
Reality: Animals of all kinds can benefit from being in the care of a foster before they find their forever home. Foster volunteers living in apartments can make exceptional placements for a small animal or a cat to thrive.
Myth #4: Animals that need a foster home are usually really sick or have behavioural problems.
Reality: Many animals can benefit from being in a home rather than a shelter environment. That said, not all the animals in the BC SPCA’s foster program are homeless! The foster care volunteer program also supports other BC SPCA initiatives like our emergency and compassionate boarding programs.
Myth #5: I am not qualified to foster because I have never owned a pet.
Reality: Although having experience with animals is definitely an asset, not all of our foster care volunteers are experienced animal caregivers. The BC SPCA ensures all our foster animals are placed in homes that are suitable based on many factors, including the volunteer’s experience, and provides all the training and support needed to be a successful foster family.
Myth #6: I can’t be a foster because I already have other animals in my house.
Reality: While we do ask that foster animals have access to a quiet, designated space that is “theirs,” many animals really enjoy living in a home with other pets.
Did these debunked myths inspire you to become a foster care volunteer? Visit the program page to learn more and fill in an application today!