GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Foster’s Background. I wish to foster an animal in the custody of Austin Pets Alive, Inc. (“APA!”) and to provide such animal with a suitable temporary home. I am 18 years of age or older, I am legally competent to enter into this contract, and I affirm that my current address matches what is listed on this contract.
I own my home or have my landlord’s consent to foster an animal. I agree to obey any and all applicable animal regulations. I have never: (1) been subject to legal action for cruelty to or neglect of animals; or (2) fostered and/or owned an animal that has been confiscated by any animal control or humane organization for any reason. I live in one of the following Texas counties: Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and/or Williamson (“Allowable Counties”) or I have notified and received written permission from APA! Foster program staff to reside outside of this geographical area. I will return any animal that has been placed with me for fostering (a “Foster Animal”) before moving out of the Allowable Counties to ensure that, if needed, the Foster Animal can be sheltered at any APA! location.
Foster Relationship and Responsibilities. In exchange for being allowed to foster an animal, the receipt and sufficiency of which I acknowledge, I hereby freely, voluntarily, and without duress execute this Agreement and agree to the terms herein; I do not expect any other goods or services in return, including an adoption fee reduction or waiver should I decide to adopt a Foster Animal. I understand that I must abide by this Agreement and that this Agreement applies to any and all animals that I foster with APA!.
I acknowledge that this Agreement will apply to the entire term of my foster relationship with APA!, starting with the date I first perform(ed) foster duties for the benefit of APA!, even if such date occurred before the date of this Agreement, and continuing as is necessary to protect the interests and rights of APA!. I understand and agree that this Agreement applies to any and all animals that I foster on behalf of APA! and that I or APA! can terminate my foster relationship, with or without cause, at any time.
I agree to: (1) abide by the mission, rules, policies, and procedures of APA! (including, but not limited to those found in official APA! foster policies and procedures as well as all applicable safety rules and regulations); (2) complete all required orientation, training, and documents related to my foster service; (3) immediately report any safety incidents and/or concerns to appropriate staff; (4) treat all animals as well as the APA!’s staff, volunteers (including other fosters), donors, partners, customers, and others I come into contact with while performing activities on behalf of APA! with dignity and respect; and (5) be mindful and careful with the property of others, only use APA!’s property for business purposes, and return all of APA!’s equipment (including crates and/or xpens) at the end of my foster relationship.
I recognize and acknowledge that while fostering for APA!, I will have access to, become acquainted with, and obtain information and knowledge relating to the business, condition, methods of operation and other aspects of APA! and its partners, some of which information and knowledge is confidential and proprietary, and that I could substantially undermine the value and operations of APA! if I were to improperly disclose such information and knowledge. Accordingly, I hereby agree that I will only disclose such information as explicitly authorized by APA!.
Foster Animal’s Background. I understand that I will be provided medical information relevant to each Foster Animal, and I agree to read the medical information provided and to complete the Foster Animal’s medical care and medication schedule as instructed and/or prescribed. I understand that it is APA!’s general practice to medically examine and vaccinate foster animals before they are released into foster care. However, if APA! did not medically examine and vaccinate the Foster Animal, I will be notified at a later date to schedule an intake exam. I understand that: (1) APA! may not have prior records for the Foster Animal and/or knowledge of the Foster Animal’s medical history; (2) treatment by APA! is limited by its restricted funding; and (3) it is possible the Foster Animal may be ill and contagious. All other animals, if any, at my home are fully vaccinated per current APA! guidelines. For the protection of all animals, I will keep the Foster Animal isolated from any other animals in my home for a minimum of seven days for dogs and ten days for cats. I understand and agree that APA! will not provide medical care for any animals, other than the Foster Animal.
I understand that I may be provided with behavioral records concerning the Foster Animal, and I agree to read the behavior information provided, to comply with any recommendations and/or requirements therein.
I understand that APA! does not guarantee or warrant the breed, health, temperament, behavior, or training of the Foster Animal and that APA! expressly disclaims any oral representation, warranty, or agreement to the contrary. I recognize that there may be several unknowns when it comes to my Foster Animal’s breed, health, temperament, behavior, or training and that environment and time can impact temperament and behavior, so certain previously unknown and unpredicted behaviors may reveal themselves in the home. I understand that APA! relies on its fosters to learn more about its foster animals and their in-home behaviors and agree to regularly communicate and work with APA! on any behavior-related matters.
If I foster a scared dog, I will review and comply with the terms of APA!’s Scared Dog Handout.
Children. I recognize that the Foster Animal may be frightened and/or uncomfortable around children and I agree that it is my responsibility to supervise any children that may interact with the Foster Animal and show them how to safely handle the Foster Animal.
Contact Information. I will notify APA! of Foster Animal issues as outlined on the below resources pages:
Mediation; Arbitration. Any claim, dispute, or other matter in question arising out of or related to this contract, if not resolved or settled through negotiations among the parties, shall be subject to mediation as a condition precedent to other dispute resolution. Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this agreement or its breach which is not successfully mediated, will be settled by arbitration in Travis County, Texas.
Placement of the Foster Animal. I commit to fostering the Foster Animal for at least two weeks (unless I am explicitly agreeing to short-term fostering) but ideally until adoption or another foster can be found or until such time that APA! requests the animal’s return. I understand that there is an adjustment period when an animal moves into a foster home and that animals often just need time to settle in and get used to a new routine and that most adjustment issues will resolve themselves within a few days to a week. I will try to work through issues with the Foster Animal as they arise so that I may honor my commitment.
I understand that returning a Foster Animal unexpectedly puts a strain on shelter space and takes up a space that could be used for another animal at risk. Accordingly, I agree to work through issues to the best of my ability and with the assistance of APA!. If concerns are beyond my ability to manage and I need to return a Foster Animal, I will provide APA! with at least four days’ advance notice for space at the shelter to be reserved, unless extenuating circumstances prevent me from providing this notice.
If I need a sitter for the Foster Animal, I will provide APA! with at least seven days’ advance notice so that a sitter can be found and/or, if a sitter is not found, space at the shelter can be reserved. I will only put the Foster Animal in another’s care, whether temporary or permanent, upon prior written approval by APA!, and I understand that I will remain responsible for the Foster Animal and subject to this Agreement while the Foster Animal is assigned to me even if the Foster Animal is in another’s care. I will never give away, sell, trade, abandon, or otherwise transfer custody of the Foster Animal to a shelter (other than an APA! shelter) or other person or entity, without the prior written authorization of APA!.
I will immediately contact and seek assistance from APA! if I am ever unwilling or unable to care for or keep the Foster Animal or if the Foster Animal: (1) is injured or becomes ill; (2) injures a human or animal; (3) displays behavior problems; (4) is lost or missing; (5) is picked up by law enforcement or animal control. If the Foster Animal is ever lost, I will actively search for the Foster Animal and post missing pet signs about the Foster Animal and follow other instructions provided to me by APA!.
I understand and agree that a Foster Animal is owned by and remains the property of APA!. I also recognize and agree that the Foster Animal must be returned to APA! within 24 hours of request (which can be made at APA!’s sole discretion for any or no reason) and/or upon receipt of notification of the termination of this Agreement by APA!. I agree that I do not have any right of ownership over the Foster Animal. I further agree that APA!’s rights in and to the Foster Animal are superior to mine. I agree to provide APA! access to my home and property, at any time, prior to placement of a Foster Animal and/or while I am in possession of a Foster Animal.
Ongoing Care of the Foster Animal. I agree to be fully responsible for the safety and wellbeing of the Foster Animal, and I will, at my own cost, provide the Foster Animal with the following at all times: wholesome food, fresh water, shelter from the elements, a safe, clean, and caring environment, daily exercise, appropriate socialization, loving attention, toys and enrichment, and kind treatment. I agree to comply with local and state statutes and ordinances. I will ensure that the Foster Animal will wear any supplied collar and identification tags for the entire time the Foster Animal is in my care. Additionally, I will provide the Foster Animal with appropriate training per APA! guidance.
I understand and agree to be a designated caregiver of the Foster Animal and that it is my responsibility to: (1) provide the Foster Animal with prompt veterinary care if it becomes ill or injured (including emergency care when warranted); and (2) take the Foster Animal to APA! for required vaccinations, scheduled appointments, spay/neuter surgery or other surgery, and walk-in emergencies, as necessary, and to pick up and administer all medications per APA!’s instructions.
I have been advised and understand that: (1) APA! will provide all medical care for the Foster Animal, including emergency care when needed as determined by APA!’s medical clinic; (2) I may, at my own expense, take the Foster Animal to a private veterinarian for medical care so long as the care is coordinated with APA!’s medical clinic; and (3) APA! will not reimburse me for the cost of any medical care outside of APA!.
I will immediately notify APA! if the Foster Animal is showing any sign of illness or injury as well as of any recommendation to euthanize the Foster Animal. I will not allow any cosmetic surgeries to be performed on the Foster Animal. Cosmetic surgeries include but are not limited to declawing, tail docking, and/or ear cropping.
I will not: (1) allow an under vaccinated Foster Animal (most commonly puppies and kittens) to touch the ground in any public area (e.g., sidewalks, parks, patios, stores, at APA!, etc.); (2) use boarding facilities, animal daycares, groomers, or any other third-party care providers for the Foster Animal (unless: (a) I receive permission from APA! to temporarily place the Foster Animal with a a third-party care provider; (b) I have provided all medical, behavior, and other relevant background information and/or documentation to the third-party care provider; and (c) the third-party care provider has executed a contract with APA! to care for the Foster Animal); (3) take the Foster Animal to a dog park or any other off-leash/free-roam area or introduce it to any other animal except my resident animal(s) and any potential adopter’s animal(s) (unless prohibited by the Foster Animal’s documentation); (4) allow the Foster Animal to roam free, outside of a crate, unattended, and/or off leash outside of my home; (5) travel outside of the above defined five county area with the Foster Animal; and/or (6) allow multiple animals/litters of animals to be fostered in my home unless authorized in writing by APA!.
If I am fostering a cat, I will: (1) ensure the Foster Animal is indoors at all times; and (2) isolate the Foster Animal from any cats that are allowed to spend any time outdoors.
If I am fostering a dog, I will: (1) maintain a 10-foot distance between people and other animals when walking the Foster Animal; (2) allow the Foster Animal to be indoors/outdoors (i.e. the Foster Animal will not be kept outdoors at all times); and (3) ensure that the Foster Animal is provided with shelter from the elements when outside.
Adoption of the Foster Animal. I will actively participate in attempting to get the Foster Animal successfully adopted. I will submit marketing information (pictures, bios, videos) per APA!’s instructions and be responsive and courteous towards each potential adopter pursuant to the APA!’s adoption process protocol.
I understand that APA! has an open and first-come, first-served adoption policy (the first inquirer that submits the first acceptable application after meeting an APA! animal has priority) and that APA! has final authority with regard to who adopts an APA! animal. I will respond to adoption inquiries within 24 hours, and I will set up meet and greets with potential adopters within five days of their inquiry.
I have been advised that all adopters must complete their adoption interview before taking custody of a Foster Animal, and I will not hand off a Foster Animal to a potential adopter or let them take a Foster Animal on a trial basis, field trip, or sleepover. Once an adoption has been approved, I will work with APA! to coordinate the transfer of the Foster Animal into an adopter’s care.
I understand that APA! does not adopt biologically related dogs to the same home (i.e. littermates or mom and puppy[ies]) and prefers to not adopt single kittens to any household (though it is not prohibited).
Photographic and Video Release. I understand that the activities of APA! are potentially of interest to donors, foundations, contributors, government officials, other adopters, and the general public. Accordingly, certain APA! activities, including fostering activities, may be recorded on film, video or other electronic recording media. I hereby consent to such recording and to any and all uses and displays by APA! and its agents, of my name, voice, likeness, image, appearance, and biographical information in, on or in connection with any pictures, photographs, audio and video recordings, digital images, websites, television programs, advertising, sales, marketing brochures, books, magazines, other publications, and all other printed and electronic forms and media throughout the world, at any time for all legitimate business purposes of APA! (“Permitted Uses”). I hereby forever release APA! and its directors, officers, employees, and agents from any and all claims, actions, damages, losses, costs, expenses, and liability of any kind, arising under any legal or equitable theory whatsoever at any time in connection with any Permitted Use.
Puppies and Kittens (“Juvenile Animals”). If I am fostering a Juvenile Animal, I understand and agree to the following: (1) any Foster Animal under five months of age is not fully vaccinated and must receive several vaccinations in order to be protected from common diseases, and I will follow established APA! veterinary guidelines to ensure the Foster Animal is fully vaccinated; (2) I will start providing monthly flea and heartworm prevention medication to the Foster Animal once it reaches six weeks of age; and (3) if the Foster Animal has been released to me before being spayed/neutered/microchipped, I agree to have the Foster Animal spayed/neutered and microchipped at APA! within the next 30 days after the animal is eligible for these procedures per current APA! guidelines, and (4) much like a parent and child, the Foster Animal’s actions are my responsibility, and I will take steps to teach the Foster Animal appropriate behavior.
RISKS; INSURANCE; RELEASE; INDEMNIFICATION. I AM AWARE AND UNDERSTAND THAT ANIMALS ARE INHERENTLY UNPREDICTABLE AND THAT THE FOSTER ANIMAL MAY SUBJECT ME AND THOSE IT ENCOUNTERS TO HEALTH AND SAFETY RISKS, AND I HEREBY ACCEPT AND SPECIFICALLY ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE POSSESSION AND FOSTERING OF THE FOSTER ANIMAL AT MY SOLE RISK, INCLUDING ANY AND ALL RISK OF INJURY, HARM, OR LOSS THAT I OR OTHERS MAY INCUR AS A RESULT OF MY POSSESSION AND FOSTERING OF THE FOSTER ANIMAL.
I UNDERSTAND THAT APA! DOES NOT ASSUME ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR OR OBLIGATION TO PROVIDE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE OR OTHER ASSISTANCE, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO AUTOMOBILE, MEDICAL, HEALTH, WORKERS COMPENSATION, OR DISABILITY INSURANCE OF ANY NATURE IN THE EVENT OF ANY INJURY, ILLNESS, OR DEATH, OR DAMAGE TO OR LOSS OF ANY PROPERTY AS A RESULT OF MY POSSESSION AND/OR FOSTERING OF THE FOSTER ANIMAL.
I HEREBY FULLY AND FOREVER RELEASE AND DISCHARGE APA! AND ITS AFFILIATED COMPANIES, SUBSIDIARIES, PARTNERS (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY ADOPTION LOCATION), FUNDERS, INSURERS, AND SPONSORS, AND THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS, OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, CONTRACTORS, AGENTS, SUCCESSORS, AND ASSIGNS (“RELEASED PARTIES”) FROM, AND EXPRESSLY WAIVE, ANY AND ALL LIABILITY, CLAIMS, AND DEMANDS OF WHATEVER KIND OR NATURE, EITHER IN LAW OR IN EQUITY, THAT MAY ARISE FROM MY POSSESSION AND/OR FOSTERING OF A FOSTER ANIMAL AS WELL AS FROM A FOSTER ANIMAL’S BEHAVIOR OR ACTIONS. I COVENANT NOT TO MAKE OR BRING ANY SUCH CLAIM OR DEMAND AGAINST THE RELEASED PARTIES, AND FULLY AND FOREVER RELEASE AND DISCHARGE THE RELEASED PARTIES FROM LIABILITY UNDER SUCH CLAIMS OR DEMANDS.
I UNDERSTAND THAT THIS RELEASE DISCHARGES THE RELEASED PARTIES FROM ANY LIABILITY OR CLAIM THAT I MAY HAVE AGAINST THEM WITH RESPECT TO ANY BODILY INJURY, PERSONAL INJURY, ILLNESS, DEATH, PROPERTY DAMAGE, PROPERTY LOSS, OR OTHER LOSS THAT MAY RESULT FROM MY POSSESSION AND/OR FOSTERING OF THE FOSTER ANIMAL AS WELL AS FROM THE FOSTER ANIMAL’S BEHAVIOR OR ACTIONS. I ALSO UNDERSTAND THAT THIS RELEASE APPLIES TO ACTS OR OMISSIONS BY ME AS WELL AS THE ACTS OR OMISSIONS OF OTHERS, INCLUDING THE COMBINED AND LONE ACTS OR OMISSIONS OF THE RELEASED PARTIES.
I FURTHER AGREE TO DEFEND, INDEMNIFY, AND HOLD HARMLESS THE RELEASED PARTIES FROM ANY AND ALL CLAIMS, LIABILITIES, ACTIONS, JUDGMENTS, SETTLEMENTS, LOSSES, DAMAGES, INTEREST, AWARDS, PENALTIES, FINES, COSTS, EXPENSES, OR FEES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, REASONABLE ATTORNEYS' FEES, ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING TO: (1) MY POSSESSION AND/OR FOSTERING OF THE FOSTER ANIMAL; (2) THE FOSTER ANIMAL’S BEHAVIOR OR ACTIONS; AND (3) MY BREACH OF ANY REPRESENTATION OR OBLIGATION UNDER THIS CONTRACT. MY DUTY TO INDEMNIFY APPLIES TO ACTS OR OMISSIONS BY ME AS WELL AS THE ACTS OR OMISSIONS OF OTHERS, INCLUDING THE COMBINED AND LONE ACTS OR OMISSIONS OF THE RELEASED PARTIES.
I EXPRESSLY AGREE THAT THE RELEASE AND INDEMNITY AGREEMENT PROVISIONS HEREIN ARE INTENDED TO BE AS BROAD AND INCLUSIVE AS PERMITTED BY LAW, AND I UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT APA! SHALL INCUR NO LIABILITY OF ANY NATURE AS RESULT OF MY FOSTERING ON BEHALF OF APA!.
Miscellaneous. I understand and agree to each of the following: (1) the parties intend this contract to be construed without regard to any presumption or rule requiring construction or interpretation against the party drafting an instrument or causing any instrument to be drafted; (2) if any term or provision of this contract is invalid, illegal, or unenforceable in any jurisdiction, such invalidity, illegality, or unenforceability shall not affect any other term or provision of this contract or invalidate or render unenforceable such term or provision in any other jurisdiction; (3) no failure to exercise, or delay in exercising, any rights, remedy, power, or privilege arising from this contract shall operate or be construed as a waiver thereof; (4) this contract and all related documents and all matters arising out of or relating to this contract, whether sounding in contract, tort, statute, or otherwise, are governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of Texas, without giving effect to any choice or conflict of laws provisions thereof to the extent such principles or rules would require or permit the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than those of the State of Texas; (5) any legal suit, action, proceeding, or dispute arising out of or related to this contract or the transactions contemplated hereby or thereby shall be instituted exclusively in the federal courts of the United States of America or the courts of the State of Texas in each case located in the City of Austin and County of Travis, and each party irrevocably submits to the exclusive jurisdiction of such courts in any such suit, action, proceeding, or dispute; (6) with the exception of any supplemental agreements executed contemporaneously with the fostering of the Foster Animal (which in no event shall reintroduce or expand any liability whatsoever for APA!), this contract constitutes the sole and entire agreement of the parties to this Contract with respect to the subject matter contained herein and supersedes all prior and contemporaneous understandings, agreements, representations, and warranties, both written and oral, with respect to such subject matter; (7) strikethroughs and other handwritten changes to the general terms and conditions of this contract are not valid; (8) this Agreement is binding on and inures to the benefit of APA! and me as well as our respective heirs, executors, administrators, legal representatives, successors, and permitted assigns (9) section headings are for convenience of reference only and shall not define, modify, expand, or limit any of the terms of this Agreement; and (10) this contract may only be amended, modified, or supplemented by an agreement in writing signed by each party hereto, and any of the terms thereof may be waived, only by a written document signed by each party to this contract or, in the case of waiver, by the party or parties waiving compliance.
Affirmation. By signing this contract, I am: (1) confirming that I have read, affirm, and fully understand the terms of this contract and that all of the information in this document is correct (and if, at any time, the information I have provided changes, I will provide updated information to APA!); (2) entering into a legal and binding contract with APA! that is binding upon my heirs, assigns, successors, and personal representatives; (3) agreeing to comply with each of the requirements in this contract; and (4) agreeing to review and comply with all of APA!’s applicable rules and guidelines, including those found in APA!’s foster animal handbook and any other materials that APA! provides or makes available to me.