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Thank you for your interest in fostering! Pet Haven’s foster program is a critical component of our mission. Opening your home to a dog or cat in need is an incredibly rewarding experience and helps save cats and dogs in need. Fosters provide care, food, play, exercise, and socialization for an animal. They work hand-in-hand with Pet Haven volunteers to respond to adoption applications to find homes for animals. And yes, it can be difficult to say goodbye, but the success makes it worthwhile–our fosters share their stories and photos with other volunteers and celebrate each animal’s new home together.
What does it mean to be a Pet Haven foster home?
Pet Haven foster homes provide temporary homes to cats and dogs in need of care. Pet Haven provides:
Fosters offer safety and love, and become the strongest advocates for the animals in their care. As a foster, you will get to know the specific needs of the animal, and can help determine what type of home would be the best fit.
I’m not the most experienced pet owner, can I still be a foster?
Yes! Pet Haven operates as a team and there are many volunteers with a wealth of knowledge ready to guide new foster volunteers and provide advice and assistance. Our Foster Coordinators provide personalized training to guide you through the process, ensuring you have the support needed when you welcome a new animal into your home. You’ve always got an army of volunteers to help you along the way!
What else do I need to know?
Pet Haven requires that fosters be 18 years old.
What if I already have a dog or cat at home?
Our dog and cat volunteers work very hard to make sure everyone is comfortable with a foster placement and the animal is a good match for your home environment. Pet Haven requires that your resident animals be up to date on their vaccinations and spayed/neutered.
What if I’m going out of town?
Pet Haven has a tremendous network of respite fosters as well as boarding facilities that provide back-up care during time away. Communication is key, so we ask that fosters plan ahead to let their Coordinators know when they’ll be out of town. Respite or boarding care is provided at no cost to fosters.
Can I choose my foster?
You can provide criteria (i.e. age, size, gender) for what type of dog or cat you want to foster, and we will do our best to match you with a perfect foster animal. If we have several animals needing rescue, we may send you pictures and descriptions of each. In this case, you can choose your exact foster animal. We also post on our Pet Haven Volunteer Facebook page a list of the animals needing a foster home.
What’s the commitment?
Pet Haven has many foster families who have been with us for years, and ideally we would love for fosters to commit to 6 months, although we are happy to work with your schedule. Pet Haven understands that you may need a short break between fosters, and that is OK. If you aren’t sure you want to be a full time foster, consider respite fostering for short-term needs.
Fosters are asked to attend adoption events with their animal and are expected to transport their foster animal to/from veterinary appointments. Fosters are expected to stay in communication with other team members and respond to applicants, may conduct home visits, and must ensure that the foster animal receives exercise and socialization.
How do you say good bye to a foster dog or cat? Don’t you want to keep them all?
It is definitely a bittersweet moment when your foster animal finds its forever home. Knowing that you will open your home to a new foster animal in need helps make those goodbyes a little easier. Rest assured, there is always another animal waiting in the wings!
I’m interested in “fostering to adopt”….do you offer this option?
If there is a specific dog at one of our shelter partners that you are interested in fostering with the intent to adopt, Pet Haven offers the option of “fostering-to-adopt.” Fostering-to-adopt allows you to essentially “try” your new pet out for a three-week trial period to see if he/she is a good fit. At any time during the 21 days the animal is in your care you are able to adopt the animal. Pet Haven will not post the animal online for adoption within the 21 day time period. If you choose to adopt the animal, you pay the adoption fee.
To participate in our Foster-to-Adopt Program, you first fill out a foster application and review our foster manual with our Foster Coordinator. Once the animal is in your care, if you decide you would like to adopt, you must also fill out an adoption application. Pet Haven will process the application and inform you of your approval status. If you choose NOT to adopt the dog, you will be responsible for continuing the foster process until the dog is adopted.
Prior to adoption, please note that the dog you are fostering is under the ownership of Pet Haven and all vet policies and procedures for fosters are the same except that foster-to-adopt applicants are not required to attend adoption events during the 21 day “hold” for the animal. You must have a decision by the end of 21 days.
Ready to get started? Fill out an application here.
Download the Dog Foster Manual
Download the Cat Foster Manual
Resources for fosters: Understanding a shy/fearful dog
Contact our Foster Coordinator: email@example.com