Fospice adopters seek out these shelter animals and offer them safe and attentive care, even if they don’t have much time left. For these animals, shelters can be especially harmful, stressful, and dangerous, and the fospice movement hopes to embolden capable pet parents to seek them out so that they can live out their days in peace and comfort.
Fospice is not for everyone, of course. “You’re getting the dog away from the stressful environment of a shelter,” says Shelby Rogers, who, along with her husband Eric, has fostered 89 dogs and 15 kittens since 2012; five of those have been fospice dogs. Eric explains, “We’re giving a dog that otherwise would spend its last days in a cage in a shelter, we’re giving it a warm place to spend its last days.”
Of course, fospice animal adoption is not for everyone. Those with busy lifestyles, young children, or other rambunctious animals in the house are usually not the best fit, considering the special attention required for these pets. Some foster animals, especially those who are terminally ill, also need specialized medical care that can be expensive and/or physically demanding for their owners, so those are other things to keep in mind.
The Dodo has an excellent and resource-rich summary of the benefits and challenges of fospice care, and interested individuals can also look into their local shelters or the ASPCA for animal placement resources and information.
The fospice movement gives people the opportunity to be an animal’s personal superhero, giving their story the greatest final chapter that they deserve.