Debunking the Top 5 Most Common Animal Fostering Myths

August 22, 2022

a brown dog with a black muzzle with a gray and white kitten on a bed

An important step in the journeys of countless shelter animals is time in foster homes with compassionate caregivers. But there are many preconceived notions about fostering that may hold people back from getting involved!

This week, in honor of National Animal Foster Appreciation Week, we’re highlighting the importance of animal fostering and debunking five common myths in hopes that you or a friend or family member might consider volunteering your time for an animal in need. 

1. “My apartment or home is too small to foster, especially for larger dogs. I don’t have enough space!”

Fostering a pet requires less space than you may think. Kittens are super tiny and only need a small room or a playpen to stay in. And while a big dog may take up more space when snuggling on your bed or couch, you don’t have to have a large house and a yard to foster a dog. Yes, those things are always a plus, but foster dogs just need someone to make sure they can stretch their legs when they need to, provide their daily essential care and help them enjoy each day as they wait to find loving homes. 

2. “I can’t foster another pet because I already have a pet.”

Every pet is completely unique! Which means that some enjoy the company of other animals, while others don’t. Fortunately, animal rescues and shelters take matchmaking as seriously for their fosters as they do for their adopters. So, while your home may not be the right foster fit for every pet, it doesn’t mean that there’s not an eager animal who would love the chance to join a home with other dogs or cats. 

3. “I won’t be able to let my foster pet go. I’m worried that I’ll get too attached!”

We know it’s hard to say goodbye to adorable dogs, cats and kittens. But take pride in the fact that you helped provide that animal the love and support they needed to find their adoptive home. Also, saying goodbye means you’re making room for more animals that need to be fostered! 

4. “I have children, so I don’t think I can foster.” 

This is another misconception that forgets that not all pets are the same. While some dogs may be fearful or wary around children, others adore having a small pal to run around outside or snuggle with. And kittens certainly can have children around—in fact, we encourage it! With supervision, children have the opportunity to learn how to care for a pet, play with and for young kittens, socialize them. They’re learning at a young age to love and care for animals responsibly—and we think that’s really important! 

5. “I can’t take on the financial responsibility. I just don’t have the money to care for a foster pet.”

Many foster programs across the country cover the cost of the animal’s care and their supplies and toys. It’s free—and fun—to have an adorable pet crash at your place for a while!

Feeling better about fostering now? 

We’re glad we cleared that up! Now it’s time to take the jump and sign up to become an ASPCA foster in NYC, Los Angeles County, Asheville, North Carolina or Columbus, Ohio. Not in your area? No worries—you can sign up to foster for your local shelter.