Be a Foster, Save a Life
A life-saving experience for them, a life-changing experience for you.
Foster volunteers are desperately needed during the COVID-19 crisis.
What’s a foster home?
Foster parents provide temporary homes for dogs/puppies, cats/kittens and bunnies prior to adoption. Providing foster care is a wonderful and personal way to contribute to saving homeless pets.
Why do animals need foster care?
There are several possible reasons:
- Some animals don’t do well in a shelter environment because they are frightened, need a little extra care, or just need a break if they’ve been in the shelter for a while.
- Some young dogs need help with modifying behaviors to make them more adoptable.
- Because we are a “spay/neuter before adoption” shelter, kittens and puppies need time to grow before their surgery.
- Newborn animals that need to be nursed or bottle-fed need foster care.
- Some animals need time to recover from an illness or injury before adoption.
- And bunnies! We definitely need bunny foster families!
- Whatever the reason, these animals need some extra love and care before they can be adopted. Providing foster care for a few days, weeks, or occasionally months, can be a lifesaving gift for an animal.
Would I be a good foster parent?
If you want to do something to help the animals, fostering can be a fun and rewarding volunteer job. It’s more flexible than volunteer jobs that require you to show up at a specific time for a certain number of hours.
With support from the FOTAS Foster Coordinator, your role as a foster parent is to prepare the animal for adoption into a loving home. You are providing a “home between homes.”
How much time will it take?
The specific needs of the animal will determine how much time is involved. You can discuss your availability with the FOTAS Foster Coordinator to determine what kinds of animals you’ll be best suited to foster.
What about food and medical care?
For dogs, we are able to provide high-quality food, vaccinations, worming and flea medication.
For cats, we are not always able to provide food and litter, but we can help off-set your expenses.
If the animal becomes ill, the Shelter can provide medication, and may authorize visits to a veterinarian as well.
Save your receipts and FOTAS will provide a tax receipt for out-of-pocket expenses you can claim as a charitable donation deduction.
What about my own pets?
You’ll want to consider how the animals in your household will adjust to having a foster pet. Some animals do very well with temporary friends and can help socialize the foster animal. Other pets have a harder time. You are the best judge of your pet’s personality.
For the safety of your pets and the foster animal, it’s important to keep your pets up-to-date on vaccinations. In some cases, the foster pet will need to be isolated from your own pets (such as a nursing mother and her litter), either temporarily or throughout the foster period.
All dogs in the household need to be licensed and vaccinated.
Will I have to find a home for the animal myself?
We take full responsibility for finding your foster animal a new home. You can help by telling friends, family and co-workers about your foster pet. Postings on Craigslist and Facebook are great options for “spreading the word.”
Volunteer photographers are available to take pictures to make it easier to show them off.
Foster animals are invited to monthly Outreach events, where they’ll be seen by many potential adopters. And you can always bring the animal back to the shelter, where it will stay until its adopted.
What about when it’s time to say good-bye?
Seeing your foster animal ride off into the sunset will help you remember that he/she has found a lovely new forever home.
Sometimes a foster home turns into a permanent home. That’s why we’re always on the lookout for new foster homes!
Is it fair to the animals?
Some people are reluctant to foster animals because they are concerned that it is unfair to take a dog or cat, establish a bond, and then allow the animal to be adopted out into another home. Isn’t that a second abandonment?
Not at all! Being in a foster home can be the lifesaving bridge for a stray or frightened pet. It gives the animal 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, safe and secure place to sleep.
Foster care can help prepare a dog or cat for a new life in a permanent home. There’s no shortage of animals who need this preparation time before finding their own people!