The Opportunity to Give a Second Chance

A current foster cat

Anna Hoychuk

A current foster cat


There is something to be said of the connection between a person and their pet. The bond between the two is full of love and trust, and most people would agree that pets become part of the family. However, the reality is that many dogs and cats are unable to experience this sense of safety and security, either living on the streets, or shelters with hundreds of other animals. These animals desperately need help, and though it would be impossible to adopt them all, providing them a temporary home can give them the stability they need to live happy and healthy lives, where they can eventually be adopted by another loving family.

According to Humane Animal Rescue, an animal will only stay in foster care from two weeks to around two months, until they become adoptable and a family chooses to make the animal part of their family. The types of pets in foster care can include a mother with puppies or kittens, an animal with a minor medical issue, or cases where the shelter is overcrowded. Fostering is so important to the individual pets because it helps them adapt to living inside of a home, making them adoptable to future families; an untrained, skittish animal will not be as desirable of a choice.

The most important reason why fostering is so important is because it saves the lives of the animals. By giving them a temporary home, you are removing them from an overcrowded shelter, where they may be exposed to diseases, or become one of 1.5 million animals that are put down each year. The impact is beyond that one animal though, because by fostering the animal, you are either opening up new space for other animals in danger, or freeing space for an animal that may have been put down instead. 

According to Emily Greene, a freshman in college who grew up in a home who fostered animals, “Fostering is hard at first, when you have to let go of the dog that you have been taking care of for a long time, but,” she continues “when you know that you have improved the life of this animal that you have come to love and that they now have a second chance, it’s all worth it.” And second chances really is what fostering is about. When you are able to take an animal out of a bad situation and give them a safe place to learn how to act like a pet, you are giving them a second chance at life, and it will make all the difference.