Become a Pet Foster

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Itty Bitty Kitty Program

Foster Handbook
Itty Bitty Kitty Handbook

A pet foster parent provides temporary, in-home care for friendly kittens, puppies, dogs, cats, rabbits, or other animals until they are adopted. In addition to affection, the foster parent provides basic care for the animals such as food, water, and shelter. When fostering a dog, the pet foster parent should teach him basic house manners. The pet foster parent will have to transport their foster animal to adoption events or have potential adopters visit the foster animal in their home.

We can only rescue as many animals as we have room and staffing for. Local animal shelters euthanize dozens of healthy and friendly animals each day to make space for the new ones coming in due to limited holding space.

Local animal rescue groups have to turn away dozens of adoptable animals each week because they lack foster parents. Not only do foster parents maximize the number of animals rescued, they also help to care for animals that would be difficult to care for in a shelter or kennel environment: puppies and kittens with immune systems not strong enough to fight germs, orphaned or feral kittens, animals recovering from major surgery, or dogs needing one-on-one behavior rehabilitation or a break from the shelter.

Fostering can vary from a few days to several months. Generally, dog and cat foster pets are required to remain inside (not to be chained or left unattended outside) and fenced in yards are preferred for dogs.

Because each animal's personality is different, we match them to the best possible foster home to suit the animal and the family. So, if a foster family has young children, then only animals that do well with young children are placed there. The main requirements of people who want to foster is that they be willing to provide a loving, safe environment.

Before you bring a foster animal home, consult with your veterinarian to make sure your own pets are up-to-date on their vaccinations. You may wish to ask your veterinarian if your pets need any additional vaccinations.

It takes a very special person to become a Foster Parent. Whether it's a litter of two-week old kittens, or a neglected hound dog who has become terrified of people, many animals need extra love and attention so they can become ready for adoption. These special animals need love, care, and a learning environment that only a foster parent can provide.

There are several situations that would require a foster home situation and they include but are not limited to:

  1. Taking an animal out of the shelter environment just to give them a chance to see what a loving environment is like and to give them a little vacation from being in a kennel 24/7 before finding their forever home.
  2. An animal that is recovering from surgery and needs a quiet place in which to recuperate.
  3. Kittens or puppies who need bottle raising or socializing kittens or pups.
  4. To give one of our long term kitties or dogs a little vacation in a real home for a weekend or longer.
  5. To allow people to see if the animal they fall in love with at the shelter will work into their home.
  6. Fostering an animal until they are adopted. This includes socialization of the animal and basic manners training for dogs. Dogs and cats that live in foster homes do much better than if they live at the shelter. This helps them become more adoptable and adjust well to their new homes.