BECOME A FOSTER PARENT
The goal of our Homes with Hearts foster care program is to rehabilitate as many animals as possible in order to make them available for adoption. With the help of our dedicated volunteers, more than 3,507 animals entered the program during our 2022 fiscal year. Cats, kittens, dogs, puppies and a variety of small mammals were included in this program.
What You Can Expect
If you have a place in your heart and home for animals—but you’re not able to adopt—consider fostering. Our Homes with Hearts foster care program lets animal lovers bring pets from our shelters into their homes on a temporary basis to prepare them for adoption.
- Training– We provide all necessary training to ensure you’re prepared to foster.
- Supplies and care– We provide all needed supplies and medical care. Foster parents are responsible for traveling to and from the shelters for medical care and foster care appointments. For this reason we require all foster parents to live within one hour of the shelter.
- Commitment– Fostering may last anywhere from two weeks to several months, depending on the pet’s needs. Foster parents must foster at least one animal per year in order to stay active as a volunteer.
- Foster families– If there are multiple people in a home that would like to become an active foster parent, meaning they will pick up/drop off animals, bring animals to veterinary appointments and accrue service hours, each person must complete the application and on-boarding process.
Our Junior Foster Parent program provides an opportunity for people ages 12 to 15 to gain hands-on experience with the responsibilities involved in caring for animals. Prospective junior foster parents follow the same process as our adult foster parents to learn how to properly care for an animal in their home. (Please note: We are unable to sign off on school required or community service hours for being a part of our foster program.)
Things to consider
Are you able to separate the foster animals from your own animals? Because most foster animals have limited immunity, it is best to keep them in a separate room for the duration of their time in your home. When outside, puppies and dogs must be supervised in an enclosed yard or on leash. Kittens and cats must be kept indoors at all times.
To support our foster volunteers, we provide classes on caring for kittens, cats, puppies and dogs. Mentors are provided for interested foster volunteers.
In addition to in-home foster parents, we need help at the shelters with medicating, cleaning and feeding the foster animals in our care. If you are interested in our Homes with Hearts foster program, please fill out our application.
Fostering is one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have. With your help, we are able to save thousands of lives.
What is a foster parent?
A volunteer foster parent assists in the rehabilitation of an animal by providing in-home care.
Foster parents are either
- Anyone age 16 or older
- Youths from 12–15. The Junior Foster Parent program provides an opportunity for young people to gain hands-on experience with the responsibilities that come with caring for animals.
An animal may need a foster home for a variety of reasons including age, illness, injuries, and socialization, or to help provide needed space at the shelters for incoming animals. Foster parents provide a clean, safe, loving environment for the animals in their homes.
What are the expenses for a foster parent?
We furnish all of the supplies needed. This includes food, litter, bedding, toys and enrichment items, and medical care. Foster parents incur their own expenses traveling to the shelters for medical care and foster care appointments. Appointments vary depending on the reason an animal is being fostered.
What are the requirements for foster parents?
- Submit a foster application
- Watch an orientation video
- Interview with the Volunteer Services department
- Attend the Foster 101 training
- Pass a home inspection, completed by our Investigations department