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Foster Care


Foster homes are the best places to house pets that need extra-special care, like neonatal puppies and kittens that need round-the-clock feeding, or fearful dogs that are learning to socialize with new people. But, they are also so much more than that. An effective foster home extends the walls of the shelter out into the community, increasing the life-saving capacity of the organization. Additionally, each foster home becomes a working part of a shelter's marketing machine. Every time they talk about their foster pets to people, they are helping to promote your life-saving work. And, foster homes talk about their foster pets a lot! Here are some simple dos and don'ts for lining up foster homes:



  • Make the application process to become a foster family easy and straight-forward. Remember, you are asking a foster family for help. It is in your best interest to make it easy for them to do so.

  • Provide extra support for foster homes caring for special-needs animals.

  • Encourage your foster families to share their foster pets on social media and other networks.

  • Allow your foster families to recruit adoptive families for their foster pets.

  • Allow your foster families to adopt their foster pets if they decide to.

  • Waive the adoption fee if fosters want to adopt a pet they have cared for for an extended period.

  • Provide food and veterinary care for pets while they are being fostered, unless the foster home offers to provide it themselves.

  • Have clear expectations about where and with whom the foster pets may interact.



  • Have arbitrary and restrictive requirements for foster families.

  • Scold a foster family if something goes wrong.

  • Set limits on the length of time a foster may keep an animal in their care.

  • Push pets on foster homes that they are not comfortable taking.

  • Threaten to kill a pet of a foster home is not found.


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