Do you ever wonder why people foster pets? Sure, it’s because they want to help save a life, but there’s more.  A lot more, as anyone who’s actually done it can tell you. And you can sum it up with a three-letter word you’ll hear a lot this time of year: joy.

Topping the list of joyful experiences with foster pets? Witnessing the pet meeting his or her new family.

“We only had our first foster dog for three days before he was adopted,” said Jacq Burke-Butler, who fosters dogs for the Maddie’s® Adoption Program. “That satisfaction – the overwhelming feeling of him getting a home – is one of the best feelings ever. And seeing the humans overjoyed was extremely rewarding, too. They had a little boy and wanted him to have someone to play with. When they met the dog it looked like a match made in heaven.”

Austin Pets Alive! dog foster Pam Martin gave temporary haven to Pip, a Shepard mix puppy who had been hit by a car. “He couldn’t walk when I got him,” she said. “He only had two legs at the time and was being fitted for a brace. Nonetheless, his demeanor was so wonderful.”


By the time Pip was adopted, he loved to play and could run with the best of them. “It was truly an incredible feeling, seeing him run around, and knowing I helped get him there. The couple who adopted him were neuro-rehab nurses in a hospital in town. It was a perfect match.” To this day, she’s delighted that she gets to dog-sit Pip when his family goes out of town.

Then there was Cricket, a senior Chihuahua, who was emaciated at 2.8 lbs when Jacq and her husband picked him up. He barely moved for the first three days. “To go from that to him ‘hopping’ up and down was amazing!” she said. “His adopter sent us a video of him playing with his new brother, and it was like the end of the rainbow in fostering. So much happiness!”


An unexpected joy of fostering? “The wonderful people you meet!” Pam said. “I never knew my life could be so rich.”

Want to experience the joy of fostering for yourself? Learn how at, and be sure to spread the #FalalaFoster joy to your friends on social media!