By Amy Tokic
During the pandemic, I decided to open my home to foster dogs from Egypt. You see, things are a lot more difficult for dogs in Egypt. They aren’t treated like family members – in fact, thousands of pets are abandoned in the streets, where they must fight for their lives. They are tortured, beaten, and even poisoned to thin out their numbers. There are a small number of animal shelters in Egypt, but they are understaffed, have very little funding to properly care for the animals, and are full past capacity. Foster organisations, such as Snookie’s Society (the group I chose to work with), are working with these Egyptian shelters to bring these dogs to Canada.
While it was demanding, I found that fostering dogs from Egypt was deeply rewarding – because of me, abandoned dogs who were once without hope were now living their best lives in Canada. If you’ve been on the fence about fostering a dog, let me sway your decision by offering up these eight awesome reasons why you should do it.
- Keeps Dogs Out of Shelters. Animal shelters fill up fast. And when a shelter is at capacity, it means it can’t take in any new animals. Plus, animal shelters can be stressful for a pooch because they tend to be noisy, and dogs don’t get as much exercise. With your love, dogs in foster care tend to be less stressed, better socialized, and have a lower chance of getting sick than dogs in shelters.
- You’re Saving a Life. How’s this for a win-win-win scenario: by fostering a dog, your local shelter can take in more animals and your foster dog gets to stay in a home where he’s happy and well-socialized. On top of all that, you feel good about your decision.
- Fostering increases a dog’s chance of being adopted. A dog’s personality comes out when in a stable environment, such as your home. As well, you can teach them the basics, like house manners, which makes them much more appealing to potential adopters.
- Growing and Healing. Some dogs need a little extra TLC – you’re giving them a safe and healthy environment for him heal and grow while waiting for a forever family. When you give a dog tender loving care, you’re providing space, experiences, and resources he needs before he goes to a new home.
- Life is more interesting. There are plenty of benefits of having a dog around the house. A dog provides extra companionship, sets up a regular routine, and of course, gives you all the snuggles you could ever need. You won’t believe how easy it is to weave a foster dog into your everyday life.
- Company for Your Pets. Every dog needs a furry buddy. It’s someone to play with, to walk with, even to have a nap with when you’re not around. Plus, your well-behaved dog can serve as a role model for your foster by showing them how to fit in with a family.
- Flexibility. From a few days to a few weeks, fostering is pretty much flexible to your schedule. Let’s say you don’t have enough time to commit to be a full-time foster – you may be able to take dogs in for a couple days. It’s an ideal timeline for dogs who need a break from the shelter or as a temporary foster when their full-time foster is away.
- Meet your new best friend. Have you ever heard of the phrase “Foster Fail?” That’s when you intend to foster but fall in love with the dog and end up adopting him. As it turns out, you were the forever home all along!
Amy Tokic is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. In her free time, Amy loves pursuing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon ( a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches). Photo credit: courtsey of Amy Tokic