Fostering a Pet - The Basics
With the pound now open after a year of waiting, most people are now looking around the pound, hoping to find that perfect addition to their family. But there are also others who plan to find a perfect addition to someone else’s family. Some people, myself included, have decided to use one of their pet slots to foster a pet.
If you ever wanted to try and find good homes for the pets in the pound, then fostering is a great way to do it. And this article will explain the basics.
What is fostering?
Basically, it’s taking a pet from the pound that probably doesn’t have much of a chance to be adopted. Maybe they’re a common color, or an unpopular species. Maybe they haven’t been trained, or have a less than desirable name.
Whatever the reason, fostering is where we take one of those pets and spend our neopoints to make the pet more desirable to potential adoptees, then find a good home for them. This includes painting them and training their stats up. Once the pet is happy in their new home, you adopt another and start the process over again.
What do I need to foster?
The most important thing you need is room. If you have four pets, then you probably shouldn’t be a foster parent (and sending one of your pets with Dr. Death just so you can foster another kind of defeats the purpose).
Also, you’ll need some neopoints you can spare, since not only do you need to paint or morph pets and train them, but you need enough to adopt and transfer pets. Having access to the lab ray is a huge help in trying to cut some of these costs, but it can be unpredictable. And you better make sure your battle pet is fine with missing out on his daily zaps once in a while.
Once you’re all ready, simply head through the disco painted door and pick out a pet.
What pet should I pick out?
Any pet that is not limited edition or painted a rare color will do, since pets that are either one will usually get snapped up within the next couple of minutes. Also, unless you’ve had some experience fostering, I would suggest trying to find a pet that has an okay name.
When is the pet ready for a new owner?
When the pet has a good color and/or is a limited edition species is usually a good time (though if it‘s a Lutari, you can't transfer it). High stats, though not required, are a plus. Once that happens, you can advertise that you have a pet you’re willing to transfer to someone, but make sure you have some rules handy. Also be ready to go through a wave of applicants.
Rules? What rules?
You don’t want the pet to go to someone that will just let it sit there and starve, or show it off like some kind of trophy. The rules help show that they care enough about the pet to follow them. One common rule is that their pets that they have are well cared for (not sick or hungry).
Another one is that they have an account that’s older than a certain age (which shows that they’re not going to leave Neopets in five days and let the pet starve). Plus, the account needs to be four months or over to get any painted pets, limited edition pets, or pets over level 2.
You may have your own rules, but make sure they’re reasonable. Nobody will apply if you have unreasonable requests.
What kind of application should I accept?
There are two kinds of applications. Petpage applications are where they use one of the petpages to tell you why they should be the ones to adopt them. They are usually included with pictures and fancy HTML. They also take longer and require more effort, so you won’t get as many applications. It also may turn away people that aren’t as familiar with HTML. But the ones you do get are usually done by people that sincerely want the pet.
Neomail applications are where they write you a neomail stating why they should have the pet. They’ll probably include reasons you should accept them and things that they plan to do with the pet. While they are easier for people to write and for you to read through, that also means that you’ll probably get a lot of them, and not all of them will have high quality.
In the end, it comes down to your personal preference.
What are some good things to look for in an application?
First, did they follow the rules? If they did not, then they don’t care enough to be the owner you want for the pet, and they probably won’t take good care of it.
You should also look for good grammar and spelling. While you may be able to overlook one or two typos or grammar mistakes, using chatspeak should be grounds for an immediate deletion.
Also, you should make sure that the pet was not called an “it” or “that pet” or something similar. Pets have genders and names, and using them shows that they sincerely care for the pet, rather than the color.
A fourth thing is effort. If the person says something like “Ooooh, i want dat Cybunny its my dream pet can i have it plzzzzzzzz”, they obviously didn’t put any effort into it. People that put effort into it will usually say what they plan to do, whether it’s drawing pictures for the BC, roleplaying, writing stories about the pet, or whatever. People who put effort in also use the things stated above.
How often should I foster a pet?
Unless you want to take the risk of a pet being snatched between you abandoning it and the new owner picking it up, I would say once a month, since that's how often the transfer system can be used. Another reason is that if you use the abandon/adopt strategy, the clothes that the Neopet was dressed in will not go with it.
If you use the transfer station, any clothes that came with its current color or bought with NP will go with it, as well as its petpet. Make sure, though, that the new owner has only three pets and has not had a pet transferred over to them over the past month. The transfer station will cost you 1000 neopoints, and you will not be able to adopt another pet until the transfer is finalized.
Be aware that this part of the process will usually involve tears and a Neopet wondering why they can’t stay with you. Gently tell them that while you love them, you’re sure that their new owner will love them just as much. Also tell the pet that if they stay, you won’t be able to help other pets that are in the same situation they were.
Now that you are aware of some of the basics, you can now go to the pound and adopt your first foster pet. You may come up with some strategies that are not listed here, and that’s a good thing. There’s many options that you can use when trying to make sure all Neopets have a home. Happy fostering.