Apply to become a foster family for an animal in need!
Why Do Animals Need Foster Care?
Foster parents fulfill a critical component of Pet Network’s life-saving work. Anyone with the compassion and willingness to help animals-in-need can serve as a foster parent.
Foster terms can range from a few days or weeks to a month or more, depending on the preferences of the foster parent and the needs of the animal. Foster homes are most needed for:
Animals who are sick
Animals that have had a very long length of stay
Animals who need socialization
Pregnant moms or moms with nursing kittens or puppies
Orphaned kittens and puppies
Animals too young for spay/neuter
Foster care can also help save an animal’s life when the shelter is full
Would I Be a Good Foster Parent?
We are always looking to welcome new fosters into Pet Network—it’s the best way to expand the number of animals we can save in our community. You don’t need to have previous animal experience to become a foster, just a love of animals and a willingness to learn. There are no financial responsibilities associated with being a foster parent. You provide the love and care, and we’ll provide food, medication, supplies, and training for your fostering experience.
This program is especially critical during kitten season – from early spring and through late fall. Hundreds of kitties need temporary homes until they are ready to be adopted. These kittens might be with a homeless mom who is still nursing them or orphaned and either weaned or unweaned. Ideally, kittens stay in a foster home until they weigh at least three pounds and are then sterilized before becoming available for adoption.
How much time will it take?
The speciﬁc needs of the animal will determine how much time is involved. Newborn orphaned puppies and kittens, for instance, must be fed every few hours. A frightened animal who needs socialization or training will also require some extra time. You can discuss your availability with the Foster Coordinator to determine what kinds of animals you’ll be best suited to foster.
What about my own pets?
You’ll want to consider how the animals in your household will adjust to having a foster pet. Some animals do very well with a temporary friend and can help socialize the foster animal. Other pets have a harder time with new animals being added to or leaving the family. You’re the best judge of your pet’s personality. We will also require a meet and greet with your current dog if you are interested in fostering an adult dog.
For the safety of your pets and the foster animal, it’s important to keep your pets up-to-date on vaccinations. In many cases, the foster pet will need to be isolated from your own pets, either temporarily or throughout the foster period. Talk with our Foster Coordinator to determine what’s best in each situation.
But is it fair to the animals?
Some people are reluctant to foster animals because they are concerned that it is unfair to take in a dog or cat, establish a bond, and then allow the animal to be adopted out into another home. Isn’t that a second abandonment?
Not at all! Being in a foster home can be a lifesaving bridge for a stray or frightened pet. It gives the animal a chance to get used to life in a house, and an opportunity to learn that people can be kind, food is available, and there is a warm, secure place to sleep.
Foster care can help prepare a dog or cat for a new life in a permanent home. There’s no shortage of animals who need this preparation time before finding their own people.
Okay, I’m Convinced. How Do I Start?
If you are interested in becoming a foster for Pet Network, please fill out our online foster application.
Once you submit your application, you will be contacted by our Foster Care Coordinator. When foster animals come into the shelter, we will contact you via phone, email and/or text message.
We only have a couple requirements for fosters:
Your pets must be up to date on vaccinations
Reliable transportation to and from Pet Network to keep regular re-vaccination appointments and to address any medical issues that may arise
Finally, although fostering is a lot of hard work, it is also an incredibly rewarding experience. You get to help puppies and kittens grow from helpless little beings into confident, well adjusted family pets. You will also experience the fun and playfulness without the responsibility of lifetime care. Most importantly, you are saving lives!
If you have any additional questions please contact the shelter 775-832-4404 or via e-mail: Foster@petnetwork.org