What is a foster home?
Foster parents provide temporary homes for the animals prior to adoption. Providing foster care is a very personal to contribute to saving the lives of homeless animals.
Why do animals need foster care?
There are several possible reasons:
- Newborn & baby animals, particularly kittens that are too young to be adopted need specialized care that can only be provided in a home.
- Some animals are frightened or need a little extra care in a quiet home.
- Some animals need time to recover from an illness or injury before adoption.
Whatever the reason, these animals need some extra love & care before they can be adopted. Providing a foster home for a few days, weeks or months can be a lifesaving gift for that animal.
Would I be a good foster parent candidate?
Fostering can be a flexible, fun & extremely rewarding volunteer job. Here's why:
- It's more flexible than volunteer jobs that require you to show up at a specific time for a certain number of hours.
- It's a great way to enjoy a pet if you are not in a position to make that lifetime commitment right now. Fostering can be an excellent option for college students, senior citizens or military families.
Taking animals into your home, loving them and then letting them go takes a special kind of person. Your role as a foster parent is to prepare the animal for adoption into a "forever" home.
How much time will it require?
The specific needs of each animal will determine how much time is involved. Our Foster Care Coordinators can help you determine what kids of animals you'll be best suited to foster.
What skills are needed?
The most important skills you will need are LOVE and COMPASSION! We have a Foster Care Manual available to assist you, as well as shelter staff who are available for any questions you may have. We are also developing an online resource center with foster-specific topics that may help with different foster needs.
What about food & medical care?
We provide the basic veterinary care and medications that may be necessary for the foster animal during your foster care period as well as food, bedding & toys. You only provide the space, time & energy.
Can I help find a home for my foster pets?
Absolutely!! We welcome your participation in the adoption process and encourage you to promote your foster pets for adoption through your friends, family and co-workers. You may also adopt your own foster animal if you decide they are the perfect fit for your home, although we want you to remember this will lessen your ability to foster other pets in the future possibly.
Become a successful foster parent! Give your foster pets lots of attention:
Your foster pet may have lived in a difficult life before coming into your home; your love & attention will help him or her get back on the right track.
Make your home pet friendly
Before bringing your foster pet home, make sure you"pet-proof" your house. Keep the animal's room warm & comfortable. Also, take steps to prevent the animal from escaping or getting into trouble by using a crate or an enclosed room.
Keep your pets up to date on vaccinations.
All animals should be current on vaccinations to protect them from diseases. Before bringing foster pets home, you may wish to consult with your veterinarian.
Recognize your limits.
Fostering requires a great deal of time and energy, both emotional and physical. Don't overwhelm yourself.
Return the animal for scheduled visits
Be sure to bring the foster animals in for their scheduled vaccinations, surgery, or return dates.
Enjoy being a foster parent!
Although fostering takes a great deal of time & commitment, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience. You are temporarily providing a needy animal with a loving environment and helping them on their journey to a permanent home.
But is this fair to the animals?
Some people are reluctant to foster animals because they are concerned thati t is unfair to take in a dog or cat, establish a bond and then allow the animal to be adopted into another home. The reality is, the benefits far outweigh the challenges. Life in a foster home will literally save the lives of the animals who are too young, too sick, or too scared to bbe adopted. It gives these animals a chance to get used to life in a house and an opportunity to learn that people can be kind, food is available and there is a warm, secure place to sleep. Giving up an animal you've fostered, even to a wonderful new home, can be difficult emotionally but the rewards of saving a life are immeasurable.