You can directly save the life of a cat or dog, kitten or puppy by becoming a foster parent. Every new foster family means another pet Fostering is one of the most important volunteer aspects of FCAR. We strive to ensure that our dogs are socialized and ready for their forever homes, but it is difficult to do that when we don’t have couches or TVs in our yards. We want our dogs and cats to feel the safety and comfort of a home, even if it is only for a short stay, so that they can learn important aspects of a living with humans. Everything you need to foster a dog would be provided (food, crate, bed, leashes, collars, etc) we just need your kindness and patience!
If you are interested in being a foster parent, please complete the Foster Application Form.
What do you need to become a Foster Parent?
You need to have a little extra time each day to care for and play with your foster pet, so that he or she is well socialized when its time to move into a new adoptive home. Your personal pets should be current on vaccines and heartworm prevention, including Bordatella for dogs. You should have a safe environment to keep the animal, preferably a fenced in yard however that is not always required.
What do we provide?
We provide information and support so that your experience will be a positive one. We also provide all the necessities - food, cat litter, crates, bowls, blankets, collars and leashes. FCAR also provides all veterinary care that the animal may need, including vaccinations, testing, medications, and examinations. There is no cost to you. Simply call us and coordinate a time to return your foster pet to our shelter. We will take the animal to our veterinarian and will contact you once complete.
How long will the foster pet be in your home?
That will depend on the age and circumstances of the pet that you decide to take in. Common situations that require foster home support: a young adult dog that just needs to get well over a couple of weeks before she/he is altered and put up for adoption; a litter of puppies that would benefit from a family situation to aid in their social development; an animal that requires attention and love to overcome past traumas. Homes are the best place for many of our animals because they thrive in family settings. Some dogs and cats also need a break from the shelter or need special love and attention due to a difficult history. Ultimately the amount of time you foster an animal is 100% up to you. Whether it is for the weekend to give a long timer a break from the shelter or to give us more information on how the pet does in a home environment; or a long term foster of a special needs animal. However long you choose, it makes a difference and we are grateful.
Do adult dogs and cats need fostering too or just puppies?
Adult dogs need to be fostered also for a lot of reasons: stress from the shelter, needing a place to recover from illness or just some time to adjust to being in a shelter so they're adoptable when they return. Foster homes also help us open space in the shelter for more dogs and cats.
What do you get out of being a foster parent?
The answers to that question are as varied as the people who become foster parents. Some of the most common comments we receive are: 1) the satisfaction of knowing that you were directly responsible for saving an animal's life, 2) the joy and fun of getting to raise and play with kittens and puppies for a few weeks (while they're still so cute!) without the responsibility of a longer term commitment, and 3) the chance to work with your kids on a great family project that teaches responsibility, but also provides a lot of fun.
How does the process of fostering with FCAR work?
1. Complete the Foster Application Form.
2. After we receive your application one of our volunteers will contact you to discuss our Foster Program.
3. We will verify your current pets are current on vaccinations and heartworm prevention.
4. If you have a fence we will perform a fence check to verify that your yard is secure for our rescue.
5. We will discuss with you which FCAR animal would be a good fit for your home, family and current pets.
6. We will coordinate an introduction with your selected FCAR animal and will help you introduce them to any current pets.
7. We will provide all needed supplies such as food, crate, leash, medicines, etc.
8. You will sign our Foster Form that explains our program and your responsibilities.
9. We will review our adoption event schedule with you. You can bring your foster pet to our shelter prior to the adoption event or directly to the event.
10. You will pick up your foster animal and spoil them with love and attention!
11. We will be available to answer any questions or issues you may have throughout your foster experience.
12. We will provide monthly heartworm and flea/tick prevention for your foster on the first of every month.
13. If your foster experiences any medical issues you will contact our shelter and we will coordinate the vet visit for the animal. You will bring the animal to our shelter. *Do not take the animal to any veterinarian unless specifically directed by an FCAR representative.
What is an Emergency Foster Parent?
FCAR's shelter primarily consists of outdoor yards where our rescues have plenty of space to play while awaiting their forever home. This means however, that during severe weather (cold, tornado, ice, snow, etc.) they are at risk and we do not have the space to bring them inside. The winter of 2013/2014 is the first time that we experienced prolonged periods of extreme cold temperatures. We requested assistance from our community and a large group of foster angels emerged to foster our outdoor animals for 3-7 days so that they were protected from the deadly cold temperatures. We maintain a list of Emergency Foster Parents that we will call for emergency situations. If you would like to be part of our Emergency Foster Parent team please complete the Foster Application Form. We will process your application just like a regular foster parent and keep it on file to contact you in emergencies only.