What is fostering all about?

In short, fosters temporarily board shelter animals in their own homes until they are adopted. Should a foster parent decide they simply cannot part with their foster animal, they are certainly allowed to formally adopt and become the pet’s permanent parent.

The shelter environment can be a scary one for dogs and cats, and that can affect how they act when potential adopters come to see them. If they appear cowering and fearful, they are less likely to be adopted. These same pets can completely transform while in foster care. Having a foster pet means that you, the foster volunteer, gets to know them well because as they adjust to your home, their personalities will emerge. You are then able to help them find their forever families.

  • Foster volunteers are eligible for donated pet food, treats, toys and other supplies.
  • Heart of America covers standard vet care for pets in foster care.

What are the advantages of fostering?

Fostering is a wonderful, rewarding way to help. By being a foster volunteer, you:

  • Get an adoptable pet out of the shelter environment and into your home, freeing up space in the shelter.
  • Get to know the pet well, so you are better able to answer a potential adopter’s questions about the pet – whether they like other dogs or cats, are good with children, etc.
  • Get to decide when you take in a foster pet, so it fits into your schedule.

But isn’t it hard to give them up?

Yes, although the seasoned foster volunteers will tell you that they:

  • Love seeing the right adopter come along for their foster pet and just know the pet is going to have a happy life in a loving home.
  • Often will receive wonderful updates and photos from the adopters.
  • Always think about the next pet in the shelter who needs them now.

Fostering is an excellent option for you if

  • You’ve always wanted another pet but can’t commit to having one full time right now.
  • You enjoy giving deserving pets the best possible chance to find a forever home.