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Two kittens being bottle-fed by a foster volunteer.

Did you know that our foster program cares for almost 1,100 animals each year?  That's 1,100 lives saved that would otherwise not have been ready for a shelter environment.  And we can't do it without you.

The Virginia Beach SPCA foster program is a cooperative effort on the part of our shelter and generous volunteers, for the purpose of providing specialized care to animals that are not yet prepared for the adoption process or shelter environment.  Orphaned kittens and puppies whose immune systems are not yet fully developed or were relinquished before they were fully weaned and animals that require targeted care are primarily placed into foster homes.

Our approved foster homes provide the care and nurturing environment that facilitates the eventual adoption of an animal.  Our wonderful foster families have made it possible to find homes for animals that would otherwise have been euthanized.   It takes a great deal of dedication to provide such intimate care for an animal that will eventually leave.  But those that volunteer find the experience very rewarding.
Fostering Goals:
• To prevent unnecessary euthanasia of potentially adoptable animals by providing for special needs in temporary foster homes.
• To provide a less stressful environment in which ill/ injured animals may fully recover.
• To ensure that all puppies and kittens are completely weaned, old enough to vaccinate and spay/neuter, and have been properly socialized before being placed for adoption
• To increase the adoptability of animals that have unknown histories or questionable behavioral traits by observing their behavior in a home setting and socializing them to human companionship
The length of the foster period depends on the animal’s situation. The most common reasons for fostering animals are:
• Kittens/puppies are too young or too small to be spayed or neutered.
• Animals who are being treated for an illness or who are recovering from injury.
• Orphaned kittens/puppies.
• The animal needs socialization.
• Mother dogs and cats with their babies.
• The shelter is full. As the regions only open-access shelter, we receive thousands of animals every year. Unfortunately, we do not have the space or resources to save all of these animals. Foster homes can provide temporary homes for animals when the shelter is overcrowded.
• Owner’s extended absence. The Virginia Beach SPCA provides temporary care for pets whose owner’s are living in homeless or battered women’s shelters.

How Fostering Works
Foster Home Responsibilities