Foster Care Program

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Foster Volunteers provide temporary care for kittens, puppies, dogs and cats.  The length of fostering can vary from a few days to several months depending on the amount of care or behavioral modification that is needed. The devotion and care given during this time allows the animal a second chance to be adopted by a loving home.

Fostering is a challenging but very rewarding experience. The rewards are many. They include offering an animal a second chance and the added benefit of receiving the love and attention right back from the animal you nurture.  FOSTERING saves lives! Temporary foster families are needed for a variety of reasons. The three most common reasons are:

  1. Limited shelter space
    The number of animals received at a shelter is sometimes overwhelming and adequate housing is not available. Foster homes provide shelters with an additional option until a space becomes available.
  2. Treatment and care after an illness or injury
    Foster parents provide sick and injured animals with the additional time, medication, and space they need to recover. This may include time to recover from emotional, fear, or stress based situations that the animal may have encountered in the past.
  3. Extremely young animals
    Young animals, such as kittens and puppies, require special attention. The shelter receives many young animals that are too small to be spayed or neutered, especially during "kitten season" (late spring through early autumn). We rely on our foster volunteers to care for these animals until they are big enough to be altered and find their new homes. One of the greatest rewards of nurturing these young animals is knowing that you are giving them a great start in life.

What are the requirements to be a foster parent?

  • Foster parents must be at least 18 years of age
  • Foster parents must fill out and sign a foster care application
  • Foster parents must attend a foster parent training session

Foster Care Choices
Foster candidates are carefully matched with foster homes according to the candidate's special needs and the foster parent's abilities. Whether you work full time or you spend most of your time at home, we'll help match you with a foster animal that fits your lifestyle.

Many foster parents have companion animals of their own. To help keep these animals healthy, foster parents must have a place to isolate their foster animals if needed (we do require that all cats/kittens be isolated for 14 days). A separate room or enclosed area with no carpet works best for a foster animal. For example, a warm spare bedroom or laundry room is an excellent place to foster a cat or kittens.

Support and Resources to Help You
The Humane Society for Southwest Washington is there to help ensure your success as a foster parent. We'll offer you as much training as you need as well as starting supplies and medications. Help from our staff is just a phone call away. We also have Foster Volunteer Mentors who will help to support you in your needs.  Our foster parents are each given a foster care manual and emergency contact numbers in case questions or problems arise.

If you’re interested in opening your heart and your home to the many animals in need of foster care, please fill out a Foster Care Application today!