I heard the ding of my email. I opened the message, jumped and screamed with excitement, grabbed my roommates and headed to the humane society. We were foster moms to a six-week-old puppy!
When we arrived at the Lee County Humane Society, we saw the long line of students who received the same email. We fought our way to the front and finally saw our puppy for the first time. We all knew that the next two weeks with our little pit bull terrier would be hard, but so rewarding.
Fostering a pet isn’t easy. You are responsible for meeting its every need. As college students, adding another responsibility to our plate can seem overwhelming, but trust me, the pros of fostering an animal far outweigh the cons.
MAJOR CAVEAT HERE: Do NOT go out and foster a puppy (or worse: adopt a pet) if you really can't handle the responsibility. That's selfish, immature, and it can lead to animal abuse and neglect. But you should consider it as an option if you are prepared. Here are five reasons why:
A Home is Better than a Kennel
Fostering increases the animal’s chance of being adopted. Transitioning from a kennel to a forever home can be hard for some animals, but being fostered can ease that transition. As a foster parent, you should aim to potty train and teach basic household manners. Being in a home also protects the animal from potential sickness. Newborns can easily become ill if they are around other dogs without the proper vaccinations.
A Good Way to Tell if You are Ready for a Pet of Your Own
Even though fostering is only for two weeks, it is a good indication of how you are as a pet owner. If you are thinking about owning a pet of your own, especially in college, you need to understand that it takes time, energy and money. Fostering is a great way to see if you have what it takes to take care of your own pet.
Fostering an animal to attract the opposite sex is not advised, but there is nothing wrong with enjoying the benefits. For some unknown reason, every puppy knows how to turn on the charm right when someone walks up. That is when you give them your best pick-up line. Dogs are the best wingmen.
You will quickly learn how busy a newborn can be. One second they are cuddling in your arms and the next second they are jumping off the couch and chewing on all your belongings. They're always into and up to something. Even when they aren’t doing anything except napping, they can still be entertaining. Be prepared to lose some Snapchat followers due to the endless stories you will post of your pup or kitten.
A Taste of Responsibility
The saying is true: It takes a village to raise a child. The same can be said about a puppy or kitten. Make sure your roommates are okay with having an animal running around the apartment (and helping out) because you'll need some help. An animal needs constant care and supervision (even through the night), and your roommates might have to help when you're in class.
If you are interested in fostering an animal, click here to fill out an application. We wish you the best in your fostering endeavors.
Be well, Auburn.
Photography: Cat S.
Born and raised in Washington D.C., Lindsay is majoring in marketing. Hailing from more than 700 miles away, Lindsay has mastered the question, “How did you end up in Auburn?”
You can find Lindsay fangirling over Jordan Spieth or anything golf-related. And she enjoys Netflix binge-watching, cheering on the Washington Capitals, spending hours on YouTube watching Buzzfeed videos, and listening to '90s rock. Yes, including Nickelback.
Lindsay helps miracles happen in her work with Auburn University Dance Marathon, and she loves the Lord and proclaiming His word.