Foster Home Responsibilities
All foster pets should be kept inside. This protects the animals from the elements and other dangers outside. Furthermore, the primary responsibility of the foster home is to socialize the animal. The animals should have as much human contact as possible. This will increase their chances for adoption.
Foster parents should be prepared to provide cat litter, food, bedding, toys, leashes, etc. The VBSPCA has limited resources and cannot routinely provide these supplies. If medical problems develop, the foster parent should contact the VBSPCA immediately and arrange to bring the animal to us for examination. Any visits to your own vet are your sole financial responsibility. VBSPCA staff MUST clear all medical treatments on VBSPCA animals, even if your personal vet has examined the animal. A home inspection may be required before a new volunteer may foster an animal. This is to protect the animal by insuring adequate standards of care.
Periodically, outbreaks of serious diseases will spread throughout the country’s animal populations. Shelters are often the first to notice increases in animal illness, because we receive so many unvaccinated and stray animals. It is ESSENTIAL for your pets’ health and protection that you follow isolation guidelines. Because most of the animals needing foster care have unknown histories, you must keep them isolated from your own pets for at LEAST one week. To control the spread of disease, please keep foster animals confined to a single room or bathroom.
Many foster families feel guilty about confining their temporary guests to a small area. Please understand that this is in the animals’ best interest. Cats in particular will need some time to de-stress after entering their new environment. If you give them the run of the house, they will hide and you may not be able to find them or get them to come out of hiding. This can be serious if you have a nursing mother, who may hide and leave her babies behind. Other mothers may attempt to move their babies and may put them in a dangerous place. The smaller the area, the easier it is to find the animals. It is also easier to clean and pet proof a small area. Potty training is accomplished much faster in a confined space.
The shelter environment can be very stressful on animals of all ages. It can be equally, if not more, stressful to be repeatedly moved from one home to another. Please consider the amount of time you have available before fostering. If you cannot commit to an animal for the entire foster period, please wait until you have more time available. Please recognize that the amount of time an animal needs depends on its particular situation. Sickness or poor weight gain may extend fostering by a week or more. Are you interested in becoming a foster parent? For more information, contact our Adoption Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org If you need temporary housing for your animal during a personal crisis, please click here for more information.