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A Neopian's Guide to Fostering

by terabithian


You’ve probably seen people on the message boards advertising foster pets and wondering what on earth is that? Well, a foster pet is a pet that someone adopts from the pound with the goal of zapping or painting to change that pet to a new, better color in the hopes of finding them a new home. So if you’ve read this description and want to learn how to foster, or at least find a pet a better home, this is your guide.

The first thing to do on your quest to find a foster is to find a pet (you didn’t expect to foster without one of those, did you?) At first it may seem like there are so many pets in the pound you don’t know what to choose. Here are some tips:

1. Choose a decent named pet or well-named pet if you want to quickly zap or paint. These tend to be more popular.

2. Choosing species might help as some species are more popular than others, but keep in mind that the lab ray does change species, so you may find the end result quite different.

3. Don’t choose a painted pet. These are usually adopted rather quickly and there are way more basic pets who would love to come home with you.

Now that you have your basic pet from the pound chosen, adopt it. A lot of pets that come from the pound are starving, sick or both, so check its food and health status. It pays to feed the foster and take it to the healing springs so that when someone comes along wanting to adopt your pet they get a healthy, full pet. If you claim for whatever reason you can’t afford food, there are freebies on the Neopets site like omelette and jelly (shhh!).

Once your pet is fed and looked after, you can choose to start zapping straight away or to engage in other activities such as training or reading your pet books to increase their intelligence. Sometimes stats or extra intelligence can be that extra thing that help a future owner decide to adopt YOUR foster.

Now that your pet is all ready to go, it’s time to start the process of zapping. Sometimes zapping a foster can be disappointing. You might get stats or nothing at all. It can be frustrating, but stats are a bonus to future owners as they can help your pet in the Battledome. If you are getting frustrated because your foster isn’t changing color, don’t worry. It’ll change color or species eventually. And if not –there’s always the more expensive option of painting.

If you are the type of fosterer who wants to paint pets instead of zapping, then you’re going to need some neopoints and an idea of what colors might be popular for the species you’ve chosen. And once you’ve painted, make sure you take the time to look for an owner who will care for the foster you have just painted.

That leads me into the next bit, which is how to find a good owner for your foster pet. I’ve had many problems with this, as people can seem genuinely interested and make applications, then pull out at the last minute.

The first step in finding a good new owner for your foster pet is to make some rules. These can be basic things like they have to use transfers or be over four months. Once you’ve made these, you can start looking for a owner for your foster.

To advertise your foster pet, head over to the pound chat and post that your pet is up for adoption. You might have to advertise multiple times, but persevere and you’re sure to find that perfect owner lurking on the chat board.

When looking over applicants, look at their account, as well as the names of their side accounts. Check that no games have been played on their side accounts. It also pays to check out the lookups and pet pages if they said they like making them in their application. Because this way you can see if they actually do the things they say in their application.

Check each application thoroughly. Make sure the reasons for adopting your foster pet are satisfactory. Sometimes people will adopt on a whim and you’ll find that a month or so later that your pet has been abandoned or traded.

Here are my own tips:

#1 Check the application carefully. Have they followed all your rules? Sometimes people put in applications but haven’t followed all the rules. Make sure they have. Also check that their lookup doesn’t say (yourfostername) UFT after you agree to them adopting your pet.

#2 Make sure they have reasons for adopting your pet outside the cliche playing and feeding. These may be a variety of things. I personally like my foster pets to be owned by people who make them into characters. That way they are sure to be loved and treated well.

#3 Make sure that the owner has transfers available or if pound transferring that they agree to the time. This way there’s no chance that your foster pet can get lost and end up going to a complete stranger.

Once you have done all of the above and are satisfied with your choice, it is time for your foster pet to leave you. In my own experience fostering, this is sometimes the absolute hardest part, especially if the foster pet has been with you for awhile. More than once, I have simply gotten too attached to a foster and ended up with a new permanent pet. But once you are absolutely sure you want to let the pet go, transfer or pound transfer to the new owner.

And that is the basics of fostering a pet. You may be wondering what to do once you’ve fostered one pet. Well, there is only one thing to do if you wish to continue fostering and that is to head to the pound and adopt another pet.

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