How to Become a Foster Care Provider for Pets
Some animal shelters allow members of the public to act as foster homes for their pets. In some cases this is because the shelter is a group that does not have a building to house the animals in. In some cases the animals are too young (a litter of puppies or kittens) to be at the shelter. Sometimes foster homes are needed because a animal needs additional care befor it can go for adoption. Whatever the case may be if you are interested in becoming a foster home for pets there are some steps you need to take.
Do Foster Care Opportunities Exist?
You may want to call your local shelter to see if they allow, or use, foster home situations. Ask if they need other foster homes. Some may have never conisdered this option. If a shelter does not use such homes, ask if they know other shelters that do.
What is Required of a Foster Pet Home?
You must be over 18.
You must own your own home, or have written landlord permission to have pets.
If you have pets they must be vaccinated and spayed or neutered (depending on the species).
If you are interested in fostering dogs you must have a fully fenced yard, or dog run.
If you are interested in fostering cats you will need to ensure the cats stay indoors.
If you are interested in fostering pregnant animals, or orphaned baby animals, you will need to be home most of the time.
In some cases the shelter pays for the food and needed supplies, in other cases you do.
How to Become a Pet Foster Home
Contact your local shelter and ask how to appy to be a foster home. You may need to fill out an application similar to if you were adopting a pet. You may be subject to a home inspection and approval; after all they do not want to just give you a pet and have you disappear with it. You may need to have a reputation with the shelter already - and this can be estabilished by volunteering at the shelter, walking dogs, socializing cats, and so forth.
What does a Pet Foster Parent Do?
Most foster care is short term, sometimes it is for a soldier who is away, or for a pet owner who is in the hospital, you are simply acting as a care giver rather than the pet being placed at a boarding kennel. Your job is to care for the pet until its owner can.
Some foster care is for orphaned animals, you are needed to bottle feed then and care for them until they are old enough to be returned to the shelter.
Some foster care involves pets (mostly dogs) that need training or socialization, once the dog is adoptable it is returned to the shelter.
Some shelters do not have actual buildings and the foster parents are required to bring the pets to special adoption events in the hopes of them getting a permanent adoptive home.
Note: Fostering is not a way to get a cheap, or free pet, it is done under the knowledge that the pet is not yours to keep. If you want a permanent pet you should consider adopting, not fostering.