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How to Say Goodbye to Your Foster Dog or Cat

Girl Hugging her Dog

We've all been there. The closer the day of saying goodbye gets the more we get onto the emotional roller coaster of happiness (for the foster) to sadness (for us).  So how do other fosters do it? How do they manage to move from one foster animal to another and still stay emotionally healthy?  Here is what they said.

Choose a foster that would you would not necessarily choose if you were to adopt. If you prefer large dogs, choose a small one. If you like the fluffies, choose a short hair.  If you like white poodle, choose a black Doxie. You get the idea.

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Recruit others.

If everyone who ever fostered an animal were to recruit just one other person to foster, just think of how many more animals would be safe and happy.  Share your experience on your social media and help recruit others to follow in your footsteps.  Make it your mission to recruit ___ others to foster!

Try not to get attached.

Easier said than done, I know. But mindset helps. Check in with yourself to make sure you are not looking at your foster as "your" dog or cat. Try to keep in mind that your arrangement is temporary. Having said that, if you do end up with a foster fail, you're in good company.  The best foster fail is the one that continues to foster!

Help us choose.

Your are integral part in choosing the right family for your foster. Observe the applicants carefully and choose the one that is the best fit in lifestyle, safety, and love.  Spark will not place an animal with an applicant that does not have your blessing.

Many fosters stay in touch with the adoptive families for years.  You don't have to but feel free to choose to so.

Give a good start.

Enable your pet to have the very best start with his or her new family.  Keep a diary, take loads of pictures, and put everything in a digital file for the new family.  Give them all the information they need, all the little quirks, favorite things to do to eat and to play with, and things to watch out for. Give them a little care package.

Here is a great article that a foster wrote and that we really liked!

The first great thing you did is save a dog from misery and a very possible death on the street or in a shelter.  That alone makes you an awesome human being.  The second thing you did was to teach the little guy (or gal) that there are humans that love them and take good care of them. High fives (paws in this case)! And the final step, because we can't save them all, even if we want to so badly, is that you provided this one (and every other one you fostered) with the thing they need the most - a home and a new family! You are truly a hero to your foster and to us.  Celebrate! You deserve it!