Why I Foster… Boca Beacon, Letters to the Editor
By Mary Anne Hastings, Boca Grande
To the Editor: Thank you to the Boca Beacon for supporting the adoption and fostering of animals through Suncoast Humane Society.
Many of us grew up dreaming of the day when we would buy a large parcel of land and give all the unwanted animals in the world a home. Maybe life didn’t work out quite like that for you but that doesn’t mean you can’t fulfill that dream in other ways.
I began fostering for SHS a few years ago when only medically needy animals were cared for outside the facility. They were dogs recuperating from heartworm, hip surgery and eye surgery who all needed a quiet place to heal and prepare for adoption. Two of my fosters were eventually adopted by people who met them on the streets of Boca Grande.
When shelters were forced to close their doors to potential adopters during the COVID shutdown, SHS looked for foster families for all the animals in their care and we were able to take Odin who brought us many laughs,long walks and tons of snuggles until he was adopted by a great family in North Port.
Odin sends me regular updates on his incredible new life and invites me over for play time whenever I am available. Currently, we have Daisy who is staying with us while she sheds a few pounds and learns to not be too scared when her humans leave the house.
The question I am always asked is “isn’t it hard to give them back”? My answer involves a grandchildren analogy. You love having your grandchildren come stay with you, take over your quiet house with their laughter and screams but you know they are there for a visit. They are there to absorb the love that only a grandparent can give and then you send them back to their parents, put your house back in order and enjoy the peace and quiet. And you plan for their next visit and eagerly do it all over again. You are better for having them and they are better for having spent time with you.
That is how I view fostering.
I hope more islanders will consider fostering. Suncoast is an amazing organization with very supportive staff. They will match an animal to your lifestyle. They will educate you on your foster’s behavior and needs. They will check in on you and encourage you. They will be grateful. And every day an animal does not have to live in a kennel is a good day for everyone!
Thank you so much, Mary Anne, for sharing your fostering experience with the world. It is because of our amazing FOSTER HEROES, aka foster volunteers, like you that our animals get the love, care and help they need, and spend less time at the shelter. Fostering saves lives! Interested in fostering for Suncoast Humane Society? Please visit THIS PAGE to apply to be FOSTER HERO!