Foster caregivers volunteer to provide a temporary home for an animal. It can be a very rewarding and personal way to contribute to saving homeless pets. Kittens, cats, and dogs are the most common pets needing foster homes, but sometimes we need foster homes for puppies, rabbits or other species.
Puppies and kittens take a lot of time and attention. Neonatal kittens and puppies need to be feed every couple of hours. And even older puppies cannot be left alone for 8 hours. However, older kittens and adult dogs can be a good fit for people who work full time. We can help you determine what type of foster pets would be a good fit for you and your lifestyle.
There are several possible reasons:
  • Foster care can help save an animal’s life when a shelter is full.
  • Some animals don’t do well in a shelter environment because they are frightened or need a little extra care.
  • Newborn or young animals (kittens and puppies) that need to be bottle-fed usually need foster care.
  • Moms with kittens benefit from foster care. This is a great way to have young kittens in your home without having to bottle feed every few hours. Mom usually does all the work!
  • Some animals need time to recover from an illness or injury before adoption.
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 months can be a lifesaving gift for an animal.
If you want to do something to help the animals, fostering can be a flexible, fun and rewarding volunteer job. Here’s why:
  • It’s more flexible than volunteer jobs that require you to show up at a specific time for a certain number of hours.
  • It’s a great way to enjoy a pet if you are not in a position to make that lifetime commitment right now. Fostering can be an excellent option for college students or military families.
  • Would you like to add a dog or cat to your household, but you’re not sure? Fostering can be a great way to find out.
Taking animals into your home, loving them, and then letting them go requires a special kind of person. Your role as a foster parent is to prepare the animal for adoption into a loving home.
It’s helpful to have some knowledge about companion animal behavior and health, but you do not have to be an expert. We provide training. Many first-time foster parents raise litters of neonatal kittens with success without any prior experience – we are here to help! Older kittens are easier, and some adult cats and dogs just need a quiet, supportive place to recuperate or chill out before they are ready for adoption.
NSPCA provides veterinary care for foster animals. Many foster families provide food and supplies, but we are happy to help with this. Veterinary care needs to be approved in advance by NSPCA for the organization to cover the costs.
NSPCA will take full responsibility for finding a new home, though you can help by telling friends, family and co-workers about your foster pet. If you fall in love and decide to adopt your foster pet, that is fine in most cases, though you will need to compete the adoption contract.