Information About Fostering
If you have ever thought about fostering a cat or small animal, please read the information below.
Is Fostering For Me?
So you're thinking of becoming a foster carer for Lincs Ark. Great news!If you've never fostered cats or kittens before, we're sure you will have lots of questions to ask, and even if you have fostered before, you may have questions about fostering for Lincs Ark. You will find answers to your questions in the following information and we hope that you will decide to become a fosterer for Lincs Ark.
Why does Lincs Ark need foster carers?
Lincs Ark is an animal welfare charity that covers a large part of Lincolnshire. We have many animals in our care; however, we do not have a designated rescue centre in which to keep these animals. This is why we depend mainly on fosterers to assist us with caring for these animals.
What is fostering?
Fostering is much more than providing a temporary place to stay for an animal in need. Yes, fosterers put a roof over the animal's head, but it's much more than that. Foster carers are true animal lovers and provide the care and attention animals need during their time in our care. This can be as basic as providing the animal with a warm safe place to stay, regular feeding, grooming, play sessions and, of course, love and affection. Some animals need a little more care such as medical treatment, extra grooming or a special diet. The fosterer may have to administer medicine to a sick or injured animal or provide a little more attention and monitoring of the animal. Each case is judged on an individual basis and the Lincs Ark team will only match animals with fosterers based on the fosterer's experience. The team is always on hand for advice and assistance when required.
Who can foster?
Some people who foster would like to have a pet, but for various reasons are unable to have one of their own. Fostering is an ideal way to fill that animal-shaped gap in your home. You are able to provide the love and care for an animal in need and in return they have a temporary home until a forever home can be found.
The following is a checklist for the essential qualities needed in a foster carer for Lincs Ark:
Patience, understanding and a genuine love of animals and concern for their welfare;
A good working knowledge of basic cat and/or small animal care;
An understanding of the importance of following care and hygiene standards;
Good interpersonal skills for dealing with members of the public and vets;
Good basic-record keeping skills;
A commitment to providing high quality care for the foster animal;
If you are in rented accommodation written permission from the landlord is required; and,
All members of the household must be in agreement with fostering in your home.
Do I need to be at home all day long in order to foster?
In most cases, it's fine for someone working full-time to become a foster carer for Lincs Ark. However, there are some cases when it is necessary for the foster carer to be on hand with the animal for most of the day. This would be in the circumstances of hand-rearing kittens or fostering single kittens or those needing small and regular feeds, or looking after a cat with high medical needs. Otherwise, as long as you feel that you have the spare time to look after a foster animal and give it the love and affection it needs, that is acceptable.
What kind of animals could I foster?
Lincs Ark cares mainly for cats and 'small-furries' such as rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and other exotics. On occasion we may get a reptile such as a terrapin, snake or lizard, and we have even had cockerels and hens. If you would like to become a fosterer with Lincs Ark you can discuss the type of animal you would like to foster and whether you have the appropriate circumstances to do so. Don't worry, if you don't want to foster a specific type of animal, you do not have to.
Who pays for the food, litter, vet treatment, etc.?
As a foster carer for Lincs Ark you will not be expected to supply any provisions for your foster animal or pay for any food, litter or veterinary treatment. All relevant equipment can also be provided as necessary.
How long is the foster care period?
The fostering period varies, as each situation is different. It may be only a few weeks holiday relief, but whenever possible we place animals with foster carers that can keep them until they are adopted. Individual requirements will be discussed with you at length so we can match you with the most suitable animal/s for your lifestyle, experience and availability.
Besides looking after the animal is there anything else I would need to do?
In addition to providing the foster animal's daily care needs such as cleaning, feeding, exercising and cuddling, foster carers with Lincs Ark will most likely have to take their foster animal to the veterinarian from time to time for check-ups, vaccinations, micro-chipping and neutering. Additionally, foster carers will be expected to keep an accurate, up to date record of each individual animal's health and social needs which will help us monitor their progress and match them with their ideal new home. The fosterer will need to contact the Lincs Ark administrator to advise her of their animals details for the website and animal register.
I am worried I will become too attached.
Sometimes it is not easy and you can be sad to give up the little ones you’ve cared for – this is only natural, as you have a love of animals. However, most people find great satisfaction knowing that they’ve helped a cat, kitten or small furry in their time of need; giving them the gift of being able to find a forever home they can call their very own. Don’t forget, there is another one waiting for you to shower with love and care.
Where can I get more information?
If you would like further information on becoming a foster carer for Lincs Ark or what the role involves, please contact email on firstname.lastname@example.org