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Get Active with Animals...

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50 things to do

before you're 11 and 3/4.... The National Trust is full of ideas, click here to see some of them

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Robins are the UK's favourite bird - here's a lovely poem about robins and how you can encourage them to your garden. More Info

Foster a pet, horse or donkey

Why not foster a pet?
 
If you want to be more active, you could foster a dog, cat, horse - there are tons of animal charities looking for reliable, caring foster homes. 
  
Why do charities foster animals out?

Many animals do not settle well in kennels or catteries;  they need closer attention, and some are injured or have suffered an illness and need to be nursed back to health. Some just need more peace and quiet than a rescue centre can give.Some charities don't have the facilities to keep the animals, so they need to stay in volunteers' homes - hence the opportunity to foster a pet.
  
If you want to foster a pet, essential qualities needed: patience and understanding!  Some animals have been through quite a time and you'll need patience to help them regain their trust in the human race.  Stress may be exhibited by a number of ways, such as barking, messing in the house, destroying furniture and more. Thse animals need time, love and understanding.
 
Not every animal will do this, however, so the best thing is to take advice from the rescue centre.

What is long term fostering?

Many charities recognise that people are unable to take on pets with chronic health problems because of the cost of veterinary fees, so a number operate long-term fostering schemes.

This means that you offer a foster home to an animal, but the charity retains ownership of him or her and takes on all veterinary care bills relating to pre-existing health problems. 

Terms & conditions of the fostering scheme vary, as always, from charity to charity, but this is a very good way to help people and pets enjoy each other's company and re-home many pets whom otherwise would be in adoption centres. 

Can you foster a pet short term?


It is also a great way to enjoy caring for animals and doing your bit, so if you want to travel in a couple of years' time for example, so don't want to take a pet on long term, fostering could be for you.
While you are fostering an animal, it will be help the charities involved if you can build up an accurate picture of the animal's likes and dislikes and routines.  One of the things about fostering is that of course, sooner or later, you say goodbye to them - as you do with any pet - but there may be a new one in need of your loving care and kindness soon after.
 
Companion horses
 
Some horse and animal charities look for homes where someone can take on a horse or pony as a companion to the ones they already have.  In these cases, the probability is that the horse to be fostered out is too old to be ridden or has an injury - he or she is just looking for a loving home where he can spend his days being cared for and  providing companionship to other horse(s).  It's worth checking our page listing horse charities to see if you can help in this regard

First things first...

Expect a home check before you get signed up, and also you may be asked to sign a general agreement about your responsibliites and that of the charity's or rescue centre's. Charities should always talk about the proposed animal with you and if you do not feel it is right for you to take the animal, say so.  They should be willing to give you advice if you need it.  Make sure everyone in your home is happy to foster a pet... otherwise you could be off to a shaky start.