SO, YOU’RE THINKING ABOUT FOSTERING?
If you are already an experienced foster home and are just looking for the foster application click here.
Never fostered before and want to learn more about what it means and get answers to what are surely some of your questions about fostering? Well just keep reading.
FIRST, WHAT WILL FOSTERING COST ME?
Close to nothing, as we will supply almost everything you need including crates, litter box and scoops, routine veterinary care, emergency veterinary care, medications and even toys, if you need them. You will be expected to provide quality food and, of course, water just as you would your own pets so there will be some cost associated with that. In some cases, with special need animals who may require a special diet, we may be able to provide approved food.
WHAT DOES THE SHELTER EXPECT OF ME AS A FOSTER HOME?
As a foster home, you could be asked to drive to pick up your foster dog or cat at a shelter or to take them to the vet.
As a foster home, we ask that you submit an updated bio for your foster on a regular basis. Normally weekly and this includes updated pictures and a sentence or two about the foster's personality or experiences.
As a foster home, we expect that you will make a reasonable effort to attend outreach events with your foster. This helps generate interest and get them adopted.
As a foster home, we ask that you be able to get your foster to vetting appointments at approved veterinary hospitals. Appointments are made by foster homes to keep it as convenient as possible.
Most important of all, we expect you to ask questions! We are here for you for whatever questions or problems you come across. We’re here, day and night, to help you through this experience. Support is something we all need in this business.
WHO CHOOSES WHO I FOSTER?
You or we will help you choose. Depending upon what your preferences are for fostering, we may contact you and ask if you're available to foster someone. For instance, if you prefer to foster tiny kittens, we will contact you when we have those that need a quiet place to stay until big enough to be adopted. Or you may see someone in the shelter you'd like to help especially and ask if you can foster them.
WHAT IS FOSTER-TO-ADOPT?
Foster-to-adopt allows potential adopters, living in Washington County, to apply to foster-to-adopt in order to house them in a healthy, home environment. If you are interested in adopting an animal that has yet to be altered, an approved foster-to-adopt contract (HSOV Adoption Application) is required. Read more about foster-to-adopt.
HOW LONG DO FOSTERS USUALLY STAY?
The length of stay for a foster depends on many things such as age, health, breed, etc. As a general rule, puppies and kittens stay until at least 8 weeks of age, so their time with you will depend on how old they were when you took them home.
Injured or sick animals also will need to stay normally until well or recovered and ready for a forever home.
If you are fostering a senior animal, those can be harder to find that special someone willing to give an older dog or cat a place to rest his/her head, so you should expect that they could be with you for several months.
WHAT IF IT DOESN’T WORK OUT?
While we do our best to match the animals with a foster home where it will do well and thrive, there do come times when problems arise with a foster in its foster home. When this happens, we expect that you will notify us of the issues and if we cannot help resolve them, we will ask you to return them to the shelter. We do ask that you give us as much advance notice as possible when things are not going well so that we can be prepared for their return and possibly find another foster home for them.
WHO DO I CONTACT IF I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?
Just shoot an email to if you still have questions after you review our Fostering 101 guide.
READY TO JUMP IN?
Click here to fill out the foster application. Once you are approved as a foster home, you’ll receive a phone call from your foster coordinator to discuss the type of animal you feel would be the best fit for your home and life.
Below are some links to videos and guides that may be helpful to you when fostering young puppies and kittens in particular. But remember if you have a question or problem with your foster, do not hesitate to contact us!
Syringe feeding kittens (Youtube video)
How much to feed a kitten based on weight and age (Maddie's Fund Chart)
Bathing a kitten with fleas (Youtube video)
Socializing feral or hissy kittens (Youtube video)
FOSTER TO ADOPT
Potential adopters, living in Washington County, may apply to foster-to-adopt in order to house them in a healthy, home environment until they are able to be spayed or neutered. Spay/Neuter is required for ALL pets adopted from HSOV! This requirement is for the well-being of the animal and to control overpopulation of homeless animals. Additionally foster-to-adopt allows animals that, due to age or compromised immune systems, to get into a home environment more quickly. Without the wait for a spay/neuter appointment.
Generally the process includes the following steps:
If you are interested in adopting an animal that has yet to be altered, you will need to complete an Adoption Application and have it approved before you will be able to take the pet home with you.
Once approved, you may be required to make a deposit (normally 50% of the total adoption fee) at the time you take the pet home.
A spay/neuter appointment will be made as soon as your foster is old enough, well enough or available to be scheduled with one of our partnering vets. This may entail your foster reaching the minimum health and weight requirements, and/or 6 months of age.
New owners may have the option of utilizing their own vet.
You will be notified of the date of the appointment and what vet to deliver your pet to on the day of their appointment.
After the pre-scheduled appointment has been completed, the deposit fee (if applicable) will be applied toward the adoption fee.
Proof of spay/neuter must be provided within the specified time, the deposit (if applicable) will be refunded and the adoption finalized.
Failure to spay/neuter your foster when scheduled will result in a visit from the HSOV Humane Officer.