3 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)
When I look over Molly’s shoulder as she scrolls through social media, I can’t help but notice that every time there’s a post about a foster dog, there are comments telling the person they should adopt their foster. While I’m sure they mean well, these comments do a lot more harm than good. They can be hurtful to humans who foster, so I’m going to discuss a few reasons why you should stop telling foster parents to “foster fail.”
It Defeats the Purpose of Fostering
The purpose of fostering is to help as many dogs as possible find homes. It’s okay for foster parents to adopt dogs if it’s the right fit, of course, but if every foster family did that, then no one would be left to foster. You’re not supposed to go into fostering expecting to adopt, so it can be frustrating when people who have never fostered are making you feel bad if you don’t adopt the dog. When it comes to fostering, you often need to look at the bigger picture because there are so many dogs who need saving.
It May Already Be Hard For Them to Let the Dog Go
Some foster parents have a hard time saying goodbye to the dog. Molly hasn’t had this issue, but she’s talked to many other foster families who have. Some people get attached to every dog they care for, but that doesn’t mean they should adopt every dog that enters their home. By telling a foster parent to adopt their foster, you could be making their emotions even worse. They might love that dog more than anything but not be in a place to adopt, so reminding them of that might only make the process harder for them.
Their Home Might Not Be the Perfect Home for the Dog
Just because a dog does well in a foster home short-term doesn’t mean that home is ideal for their forever home. All the dogs that we’ve fostered have done well in our house, but I prefer to be the only permanent dog, so it’s better for the dogs to go to a home where they can have their own space or have a dog sibling to play with. On social media, it’s easy to assume that a foster parent and their foster dog are perfect for each other, but a lot goes on behind the scenes that no one but the foster family knows. So, even if it seems like a foster dog should live in their foster home permanently, that might not be the best option for them.
Most Foster Parents Don’t Like to Hear it
For all of the reasons above, foster parents usually don’t like to hear people pressuring them to adopt their foster. People start to sound like a broken record, and it often discourages people from fostering. If you want to be supportive of someone who fosters, please avoid asking if they’ll adopt the dog. Instead, tell them that they’re doing a great job or that you’re proud of them for how many dogs they’ve helped. Those are the types of things that help them feel better and make them want to keep volunteering with dogs.
If someone wants to adopt their foster, they will. But if you don’t live in the same house as them, you don’t have any right to express your opinion on that matter. Again, I’m sure humans saying these things don’t mean to be hurtful, but in the future, please rethink encouraging a foster parent to adopt.
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