The SPCA is always looking for new Foster Parents to join our team! Our fosters get to take part in so many wonderful experiences. Our foster are guided through the process of raising kittens and providing neonatal care, and receive support and education to help pregnant cats successfully give birth. Of course we have room for dog fosters too! More opportunities arise every day! Fosters help us provide care for more animals than we could normally house in the shelter, meaning you help us save more lives. Best of all, foster parents help animals acclimate to a home setting, preparing them for success in their future forever homes.

What does fostering involve?

We provide full support to our fosters, including medical care for the foster animals, as well as food, toys, bedding, litter and other necessary supplies. This is so you can focus on the most important part – showing them love and making sure they’re happy and healthy! Our fosters also get “first dibs” on an animal in their care, meaning if you decide to foster fail and want to adopt the animal that has been living in your care, your application takes priority!

Fosters are expected to take all foster animals in their custody to agreed-upon appointments, including vet appointments and meet-and-greets with potential adopters. Fostering does require a lot of commitment and a degree of flexibility, so please consider your circumstances carefully when applying.

We do ask that all unused or partially used supplies be returned at the end of your foster period, when the animals are either adopted or returned to the shelter and if you do not plan to immediately foster another animal in need.

How to Start Your Foster Journey:

  • Step one: Apply using our Cat Foster Application or Dog Foster Application
  • Step 2: Wait to hear from our foster coordinator, Annie, and follow up on any resources she may share to prepare you for the foster experience.
  • Step 3: Depending on your availability and our needs, we may have animals available immediately for you, or Annie may stay in touch about opportunities. Know we have you in our foster system!
  • Step 4: Receive the call, text, or email that we have fur babies for you to foster and set up an appointment to pick them up!
We provide full support to our fosters, including medical care for the foster animals, as well as food, toys, bedding, litter and other necessary supplies. This is so you can focus on the most important part – showing them love and making sure they’re happy and healthy! Our fosters also get “first dibs” on an animal in their care, meaning if you decide to foster fail and want to adopt the animal that has been living in your care, your application takes priority!
 

We do ask that all unused or partially used supplies be returned at the end of your foster period, when the animals are either adopted or returned to the shelter and if you do not plan to immediately foster another animal in need.

Already a Foster and looking for your next foster baby?

Foster Roles and Responsibilities

From raising bottle babies to providing sanctuary to a dog with high-anxiety or medical needs, fosters play a huge role in the development of healthy and happy rescue animals.

Cat fosters primarily provide a safe and healthy environment for pregnant mom cats, moms with kittens, or orphaned kittens. Our foster coordinator will provide answers and training as needed, depending on how complicated a case may be, to help you feel fully prepared for the task. Many helpful tips and answers can be found at KittenLady.org!

Ideally, whether a cat foster is providing care for kittens, their mom, or kittens and a mom, it is best to make sure there is a separate room in your house or apartment where the fosters can primarily stay, especially when first introducing them to your own house pets.

Dog fosters take on the big responsibility of providing sanctuary and safety to dogs that are not adapting well to a shelter environment or dogs that require extra attention due to medical issues. Occasionally, we do have mother dogs and puppies, but the majority of our dogs in foster are grown and simply not well-suited to the lifestyle at a shelter.

Beyond providing care, dog fosters also need to be “adoption ambassadors” and help these dogs be seen by potential adopters. Some choose to walk the dogs with an “I’m adoptable” bandana or vest on. Others go to social media. Whatever you do, feel free to work with our communications team at the SPCA to ensure your dog in foster remains seen by the public eye and is ready for meet-and-greets with potential adopters!

Medical fosters provide a safe environment for cats and dogs to recover from surgery. Occasionally, these fosters are called upon to provide “fospice” – foster hospice for animals, which allows an animal to spend its final days in a home instead of a shelter.

Fostering is intense work on its own, and our medical fosters may face the brunt of it, as compassion fatigue is a real threat. But these incredible fosters are able to provide safe places for animals that need to be away from a shelter environment where communal infections like URIs are common, and they give love and belonging to the animals that might never otherwise know a home in their final days.