An AWL NSW Foster Carer.

Are you working from home or have more spare time on your hands? Are you thinking about becoming an AWL NSW foster carer? We spoke to Russell, one of our amazing volunteers, to chat about his experience as an AWL NSW foster carer and his recent ‘foster fail’ Brock – a 10 year old Foxhound that had spent 820 days at our shelter before Russell came to his rescue.

How long did you foster Brock before he became a ‘foster fail’?

I was fostering ‘young at heart’ Brock for at least three months. He was my first and my last foster pet. Well at least for a while… What inspired you to become a foster carer? I was off work for a few months due to a workplace injury and I was looking for something constructive to do with my time. That’s when I found AWL NSW.

How many foster animals have you cared for so far?

Just the one and only. We adopted Brock officially on the 6th of January this year and haven’t looked back.

What’s your favourite part of being a foster carer?

Knowing that I was helping an animal heal. Brock is the sweetest dog you will ever meet but he also has what I believe are some industrial strength abandonment issues. Helping him with that, above all has been my favourite part.

What is the hardest part about foster care?

Just like people, animals have their own unique personalities and idiosyncrasies – especially as they get older. Even more so when they have experienced trauma like Brock did. Just like people you need to learn their triggers, adapt your behaviour and be patient with them. Just because you had a similar pet at some point in the past does not mean you know better. An old dog can learn new tricks but like trying to teach a grandparent how to use the latest iPhone, it will require patience, understanding and care. That’s the hardest part of fostering.

Any words of advice for people who are thinking about becoming a foster carer?

Fostering is such a rewarding experience, but it can take its toll on your emotions. Make sure you know you can provide exactly what each animal needs and meet that criteria. For example, Brock is afraid of storms, so I will sleep on the floor with him so he can relax. Be ready and able to dedicate your time and love. If you can do all that, then fostering will change you for the better.

Our foster carers are a vital part of what makes AWL NSW so successful in rehoming thousands of animals each year. If you would like to learn more about becoming a foster carer with AWL NSW please email fostercare@awlnsw.com.au or click here for more information.

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