What does the phrase, “foster failure” mean in regards to a person who fosters?

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Sometimes, dogs are returned from foster care because the foster parents did not understand their dog’s temperament and needs.

Shelters in the United States euthanize a dog or cat every eight seconds. This totals over four million animals each year, many of whom have spent months in overcrowded environments waiting for adoption. After a certain period, new animals coming into the shelters need their place, and those whose adoption is becoming less likely must make way for them. Fostering a dog while you search for a forever home for it makes space in the shelter for another and saves both from potential euthanasia, so do everything possible not to have to return it.

One of the best ways to avoid this is to meet the dog before you bring it home. You also need to ask lots of questions about the care for your particular foster dog, such as how much medicine it takes, what type of training it still needs, and what expenses will be incurred by you. You need to be clear on your responsibilities; for example, the foster parent is required to transport the animal to the vet and to adoption events, so be honest if you’ll find this to be a burden.

And you need to be completely straightforward. For example, don’t tell the rescue organization that someone will be home during the day when they aren’t—and then become disgruntled to return home to find the house destroyed by an anxious and needy dog.

Remember, these animals have had a pretty tough start to life. Most have been abandoned, abused, injured, sick or pregnant, and many have even been orphaned. It’s incumbent upon you to provide a safe, loving and secure environment, one that will prepare them for permanent adoption.

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