First of all, what does it mean to foster an animal? Fostering animals is a way of providing a temporary home for pets who are injured, have no place to stay or are too small and need to socialize with people.
It might seem easy, but it is a lot of responsibility to take and a lot of work to do. First of all, you need to find a shelter and take an application form. After that, you should fill out the form very carefully. After the process is done, you can bring the dog to your house. The most important part starts from here. You should look after them very carefully, feed them regularly, be aware of their health situations and take care of their training. It costs a lot of money, but the benefits coming with it will be worth everything.
Although it is a relatively new thing in Romania to foster dogs, there are a lot of groups and people trying to help abandoned dogs or the ones under bad conditions in the shelters. Shelters such as the Dog Rescue Shelter in Bucharest and Brailas provide space for 700-800 dogs in both shelters and they are trying to provide food, medical care and social interaction. The Dog Rescue Clinic in Bucharest also helps most of the urgent cases, injuries and surgeries. However, the Romanian government is not providing any support to the shelters or the projects, and they need help. If you want to learn more about fostering dogs in Romania you can check out this link: http://www.dogrescue.ro.
As a member of PAWS, which is a Service Learning Group at our school, I can say that we are trying to do our best to help the stray dogs and other dogs in the shelters. We are constantly working with Citydogs 4 Streetdogs. If you want to be a part of the helping process, check out the links above.
I made contact with Foster Parent, Mrs. Anca Osaci, through PAWS Advisor Mrs. Cornelia Cain. Luckily, she gave us an interview:
Q: How long have you been fostering animals?
A: For almost 10 years.
Q: Why are you fostering dogs?
A: Besides feeling pity for them, mostly because I think they ended up on the streets because of us, humans. We allowed them to over breed, instead of trying to control the population and, when they were too many for a household, we threw them out to a bitter fate.
Q: Is it hard to foster dogs? If it is, can you give me an example?
A: Yes, it is! One has to clean, feed, take care of their health and training, no matter if it rains, snows or 40 degrees plus out there. You have to deal with all kinds of dogs: scared, shy, overly friendly and try to bring out the best in them, as they can fit in a normal home.
Q: Is it hard to leave dogs when you find a permanent house for them?
A: Oh, yes! That is the hardest part! You get attached to them and only the thought that they get what they deserve – a loving home – makes you let go.
Q: How can other people foster a dog?
A: If you love and understand dogs the first step is taken. And there is also the question of money! Feeding, vaccinating, deworming, health books, microchips cost a lot of money. Not to speak of possible health problems…
Q: Is it a new thing for Romania to foster dogs, or is it something common?
A: It is a fairly new thing but more and more persons are getting conscientious and involved in this enterprise.
*Thank you again to Mrs. Anca Osaci for giving this interview.
Also, check out this article for information about stray dogs in Romania: Understanding Romania’s Stray Dog Situation.