The advice of a successful rescue organization is "road-tested" and can pave the way for a successful pairing with a beloved dog or cat.
Some rescue centers have a few or many pets who need a temporary situation, while other are fostered in individual homes.
One way to begin foster parenting is to offer your services for a short-term commitment. Often, days or just a few weeks is all that's required.
Even when you have pets of your own who require your love, time and attention, it's easy to get caught up in the needs of a new kitten or puppy.
Rescue organizations often take care of food, litter and even veterinary care when you open your door to a pet in need.
Besides the rescue group where you may have found your foster pet, you can get in on the action yourself through social media and even real-life social interaction.
Even if your heart hurts a little when you hand your foster pet over to a new family for adoption, you'll be smiling through your tears.
While it's been called a "foster failure," any time an animal with no home finds one filled with love and caring — even if it's yours — it's a success.