a grey kitten lays in a basket with a blue blanket

Foster Friday: Free to Be

This week we’re discussing the role that fostering plays in allowing animals to engage in species specific behaviors. But what are species specific behaviors? Simply put, they are behaviors that animals exhibit when they are in an environment where they are safe, comfortable, and able to interact with other members of their own kind. For dogs this could be chewing on a toy or chasing a ball – behaviors that have their origins in survival. Other behaviors exhibited by both cats and dogs serve a social purpose and may include playing together or mutual grooming. In this video Elsie, a foster cat, grooms her friend Blossom who seems to appreciate the attention. It is often difficult for active, social animals to fully express these behaviors in a shelter environment, but in a foster home with plenty of space and, if appropriate, other animal friends, a dog or cat is free to be themselves! This benefits not only the animals in foster homes but also the adopters meeting animals in foster homes. The ability to express normal, natural behaviors in a foster home plays a vital role in maintaining an animal’s physical and emotional health and allows potential adopters to meet that animal as his healthiest, happiest self.

To get started, please fill out the quick form here, and we will follow up with you with next steps to coming on board as a foster.