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100 Things I Love About You

Written by Mia McKenzie February 2011, no. 3 Fostering an animal is like waking up on Christmas morning. You feel so excited, and you have no idea what you are going to get! Depending on you, your yard, exercise regime and other family members, a rescue organisation will make sure your foster pet will fit into your life like a lost piece of jigsaw puzzle. A bonus to fostering an animal is discovering the dog or cats personality profile. Once the animal knows it is in a safe and loving environment, they will release their kaleidoscope of behaviours. You can tell its new owner 100 things about the animal – its likes, its dislikes, its favourite food and toy, quirks and idiosyncrasies, sleeping habits and hilarious behaviours. You can’t buy this information from a pet store, pound or shelter. When you purchase a foster animal, you know exactly what you are getting. You will fall in love with your temporary family member. It is only natural after cooking them special meals, taking them for walks and tucking them in at night that you will become attached to the animal that you have helped to create its alternative future. But when the rescue organisation finds the foster pet its new parents, you start to wonder –

whose luckier, the animal or the new parents? It is time that society rid the notion that rescued animals are damaged goods. On the contrary, pet shop animals that originate from backyard breeders and puppy farms are a mixed bag of cruelty, poor husbandry and isolation. So which group are the damaged goods? Fostering a dog or cat provides the animal with individual care and love. You do not need a thesis on animal management to become a foster parent. All you need is the knowledge that fostering exists, a good rescue organisation and the willingness to take in and care for an animal that would otherwise be killed. Yes, there are rules and regulations, but it is not complex. Fostering a dog or cat works in today’s society because it is temporary. In between kids, travel, work and other life commitments, it’s easy to slot in a foster pet. Not only will you save its life, you will decrease its stress levels, you will decrease the Australian taxation burden, you will provide an environmentally friendly service and you will discover unexpected joy and laughter. Once you foster a dog or a cat from a rescue organisation, you will come more addicted than hot chips on a cold winter’s night.

For more information, please visit www.pawproject.com.au and facebook at The PAW Project.