Have some extra love to share? Consider opening your home to a foster pet! Paws4ever’s Foster Program allows us to expand our capacity to rescue more animals and to support animals with special needs. Fostering is one of many ways to support Paws4ever as a volunteer. See more volunteer opportunities.
How do pets benefit from a foster home?
- Some animals have medical needs that can be addressed more easily in the home environment. A kitty may recover from a cold much faster in a cozy house, or a dog’s 12-hour medication schedule may be easier to manage in a home setting.
- Other animals may have behavioral needs, such as separation anxiety, that makes the shelter environment stressful for them. A foster setting can bring a shy pet out of their shell, help a scared animal to trust, or help an excitable pet to relax.
- Very young puppies and kittens, as well as pregnant or nursing mothers need to be in foster homes. Having foster homes available allows us to rescue more puppies and kittens!
- Plenty of pets would simply love the enrichment of a field trip! Taking a foster vacation can be a great opportunity for an animal to de-stress.
- Fosters often have personal contacts and communities that can provide a wider audience of potential adopters.
- Fosters are able to get to know an animal’s personality better in the home, which helps us to promote them to potential adopters.
- Experience in a foster placement helps animals get used to home life, making their adoption transition easier.
Who can foster?
Anyone over 18 with room in their heart and home. Don’t forget to check with your landlord or homeowner’s association whether animals are allowed and if there are any restrictions, such as size or breed. Any current pets should be up to date on required vaccines and basic preventatives (flea/tick & heartworm).
Will I need to buy a bunch of supplies?
No, Paws4ever will provide all the basic supplies you will need, including food, extra blankets or towels, and medical supplies if applicable. Of course, you may want to spoil your foster friend with some extra treats and toys, but we’ve got you covered for the basics.
How much space do I need?
This will depend on the type of animal you take and their specific needs, but in general it does not require much space to foster, and many people can comfortably foster in an apartment. Kittens, puppies, and adult cats will require a room such as a spare bedroom, den, office, or a large bathroom. Most adult dogs will live in part or all of the home with you, again depending on the individual animal. Some dogs prefer a yard to play in, whereas many are fine with walks instead. Keep in mind that if not for fostering these animals would otherwise be staying in a shelter, so by no means do you need to live in a mansion to accommodate them in your home. Your foster pet will need lots of love, but not necessarily lots of room!
How much time do I need?
There is a wide range, depending on the type of animal you take. Some animals need frequent care, whereas others really only need a comfy couch to crash. We will try to match you with the animals that are right for you. At the minimum, you will need to be able to pick up the animal from Paws4ever, and bring them back for any vet appointments or to meet interested adopters.
I’ve never fostered before; how will I know what I’m doing?
Don’t worry–Paws4ever provides all the training and support you will need to be a fabulous foster.
What do other Paws4ever fosters have to say about their experience?
“Helping out in this way brings joy to an average day and seems to just smooth out the bumps you can sometimes have with a new animal.”
“…It was my job to love, train, promote, and make the dog as adoptable as possible. It was so incredibly rewarding when I watched those happy canines jump in the cars with their smiling and laughing forever families! I felt like I had accomplished something very important and valuable … The staff are so incredibly supportive and provide countless resources for working with certain behaviors. I feel like I have my own cheer-leading team! It’s just a WIN / WIN situation!”
I’m ready to foster! How do I proceed?
Wonderful! Fill out our foster application to get started: Online Foster Application