What is a Foster Home?
A foster home is a temporary living situation for pets in our program while they are awaiting placement in a permanent home or to move into one of our overnight adoption programs. Foster families provide shelter, food, care and love. The number of animals we can save depends entirely on the number of people who open their homes and hearts to foster them.
Because many of our dogs and cats cannot go directly into one of our overnight adoption programs, the only way we can save these animals is with the help of foster homes. Our young kittens and puppies need to stay in foster until they are old enough to be spayed and neutered, at which time they are ready for adoption. Older pets who are ill or injured may need to stay in foster care until they are well enough for adoption.
In some cases, a foster home is needed to help an animal transition from the stress of having been abandoned at a shelter. For some dogs and cats, they will need to stay in a foster home until they are adopted.
Being a pet foster family has rewards beyond the essential value of helping a pet in need find a new home. For some, it is a chance to have an animal companion without a lifetime commitment, or to try new companions for an existing pet. For others, it is the special challenge of helping an animal recover from an illness or injury, the trauma of losing a beloved owner or home, or to overcome a behavioral issue. Occasionally, it’s the joy of giving extra TLC to kittens and puppies too young to be adopted.
How Long Can I Expect to Foster a Pet?
Fosters will keep animals an average of 4-6 weeks unless it is medically or behaviorally indicated otherwise. Some pets need more time because of age, illness, injury, or behavior issues. You will be told up-front before you agree to foster the pet how long of a commitment we believe it will be.
What are the Responsibilities of a Foster Family?
- Provide a safe, clean, caring environment
- Provide food, water, litter, toys/enrichment, and shelter
- Provide exercise and socialization as appropriate
- Monitor any medical and/or behavioral problems
- Transport to/from any necessary vet appointments
- Transport to/from offsite adoption events
- If the foster pet is sick, isolation from other animals in the home is required for a minimum of 10-14 days. This isolation is especially important for cats and bottle baby kittens.
Interested in becoming a medical foster?
Download our Medical Fostering Guide to learn more.
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