Foster Parenting: “An Incredibly Rewarding Experience”

At some point in time nearly every animal shelter feels the pinch of not having enough space or the proper facilities to care for those animals with special needs.

The volunteer foster program not only maximizes the number of animals being rescued, it allows us to care for the animals who would be difficult to care for in our shelter environment. Foster Care provides a comfortable home atmosphere that keeps them healthy and happy. And of course, the foster program directly involves you and the community in our life-saving mission.

Being a Foster Parent/Family can be a rewarding and gratifying experience. You can feel good knowing that you have helped save an animal’s life. Animals who are fostered in positive, nurturing environments by people with basic training and behavioural knowledge are more likely to be adopted, less likely to be returned to the shelter, less likely to suffer from behavioural problems, and less stressed. By temporarily providing a needy animal with a loving home environment, you are helping that animal become more suitable for adoption into a responsible, lifelong, loving home.

Becoming a Successful Foster Parent is easy if you follow these steps!

1. Give your foster animals lots of attention and affection.
2. Learn about pet care.
3. Make your home pet friendly.
4. Keep your pets up to date on their vaccinations.
5. Recognize your limits.

FAQ’s About Becoming a Foster Parent

1. Which animals are considered for foster care?

  • Orphaned puppies and kittens
  • Nursing or pregnant moms
  • Animals recovering from illness or injury
  • Shy or fearful animals who need socialization
  • Elderly, palliative care animals

2. How long are the animals in foster care?
The foster term may range for short term to long term, dependent on each individual case.

3. Can I adopt my foster animal?
YES! You would have to follow the adoption procedures that any other adopter would.

4. How are fostered animals promoted?
Photos and stories of the animals are posted at the shelter where the public can view them, as well as being featured on Social Media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).
Foster parents may also bring the animal in for shelter events to increase the animal’s visibility.
Foster parents may promote them to family, friends and colleagues.

5. I live in a condo, townhouse or apartment — can I foster?
Yes, you can, with your landlord’s approval.
Many of our animals need one-to-one socialization, so a small environment can be beneficial.

6. What if I have children?
Fostering is a wonderful family experience and can build a foundation of philanthropy in your children.

7. If I have my own animals, can I foster?
Yes, but keep in mind that it’s always a health risk to expose your animal to other animals.
The risk is minimal if your animals are current on their vaccinations, maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle and are not elderly or young.
We also strongly advise fostering an animal that will get along well with your other pets, and would not present any risk of physical harm to them.

8. What supplies are needed to foster?
Foster parents provide space, basic training, exercise and love for the animal.
The shelter will provide you with all of the other supplies and equipment needed.

9. What if my foster dog becomes sick?
All veterinary costs are paid by the shelter with prior approval.

10. Can I return my foster animal to the shelter if I am unable to foster any longer?

YES, we understand that situations can change and that in an emergency situation, animals may be brought back to the shelter.

11. What if I go on vacation or a business trip?
The SPCA will make alternative arrangements while the foster parents are away.