LOS ANGELES: You nurse and nurture, live with and love an animal in your home. After a few weeks or months, you turn it over to someone or return it to a shelter. Watching a foster pet leave the nest can be rewarding, but you are probably still going to cry your eyes out.
A foster home is a place where pets get a chance to heal or come of age or learn how to be social. It leaves room at the shelter for another dog or cat. Fostering is hard work and takes time, patience and dedication, but knowing you are raising and training a pet for someone else can be equal parts gratification and heartbreak.
Beth Stern, chairwoman for the North Shore Animal League America foster program, has fostered several litters of cats. She says she can tell you what each one likes to eat, where they like to be rubbed and their favorite toys. She house trains them and keeps meticulous records for adopters.
She and husband, talk show host and "America's Got Talent" judge Howard Stern, had planned to take just one litter.
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