We are appealing to the public to consider opening their hearts and homes to an animal in need by signing up to become a foster carer for the charity.
Fostering was initially piloted during the first lockdown in March 2020 when animals were unable to be rehomed. The scheme proved so successful that it was then trialled on a larger scale at our Dunbartonshire Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre in December 2021.
Now, the fostering scheme has rolled out across the west of Scotland and we are looking for even more loving foster families to care for animals from our Glasgow, Ayrshire, Lanarkshire and Dunbartonshire centres.
Scottish SPCA animal fostering coordinator, David McBeth, said, “We’d be delighted if some of Scotland’s animal lovers would sign up to foster for us. We have roles fostering either dogs or cats and we’ll work with fosterers to find animals suited to their homes and level of experience.
“Introducing this scheme will give even more animals the chance to recuperate in a stable home environment rather than kennels, which in turn frees our kennel space up for urgent cases of animals in need.
“Fostering can be beneficial for animals for many reasons whether that’s taking an animal out of kennels who finds the environment too stressful, allowing an animal a quiet place to recover from medical treatment or helping rehabilitate an animal with behavioural issues."
One such animal the scheme helped was Scarlet, the Rottweiler X German shepherd.
She came in to our care with her sisters, Buddy and Jade. Jade was fostered out to a member of the public a few weeks after arriving. Buddy was fostered by a member of staff as she was very nervous and struggling to adapt to life in kennels.
Scarlet was a very outgoing girl but would get over stimulated and mouthed a lot, which could be quite painful. We did find her a fosterer but sadly she was brought back as they struggled to deal with her mouthing.
Scarlet was quite depressed when she came back so the team member who fostered Buddy decided to take her home to be with her sister until she could be rehomed.
Being with Buddy and her foster family’s other dogs helped Scarlet immensely. She became much less mouthy as she had the other dogs to play with. She loved cuddling up with Buddy too. Her foster carer was also able to toilet train her, which generally helps dogs get rehomed much faster.
Jade's foster family kept her, and the staff member fostering Buddy decided to keep her too but they still needed to rehome Scarlet. The team found out Jade's family were looking to rehome another dog so they phoned them and suggested Scarlet. They went on to rehome her and she now has the fantastic forever home she deserves alongside one of her sisters.
There’s no doubt that being on foster helped Scarlet to learn the skills she needed to fit in with her new forever family – including that all-important toilet training!
David continued, “It’s incredibly rewarding for the people involved too as you’re helping an animal recover from a difficult time in their life and get ready to find a new forever home. All food and any veterinary treatment for the animal will be provided by us.
“If anyone is unsure about fostering we’d urge them to give it a go. You’ll be making a huge difference to the life of an animal and our team will be here every step of the way to support you.”
Anyone interested in fostering for the Scottish SPCA can find more details and apply via the website here: https://bit.ly/3vbhoHG