Next to owning a dog or cat, there is nothing more enjoyable or rewarding than fostering a homeless animal.
What is an Animal Foster?
An animal foster is a person or family that provides a temporary home for a rescued pet until it is adopted. Many homeless dogs and cats grew up in homes where they were well-loved. But, for whatever reason, they have found themselves homeless, scared and alone. A foster home provides a loving environment which helps relieve the animal's stress while they wait for a new, permanent home.
What does a Foster Parent do?
The responsibilities of an animal foster are similar to those of being an actual parent. A foster provides a safe environment and appropriate food, teaches good manners and sets aside time each day for socialization, play, and exercise. A foster parent may also be asked to bring their foster animal to the vet for worming, vaccinations or other health checks.
Many of the animals in our program come to us from animal control facilities so we don't have a lot of information about them. We ask our foster parents to complete a personality profile on each animal that they care for. The profile provides important information that will help us match the animal with the right family. Is the animal housebroken, crate trained, good with children, good with other animals, know any commands, any tricks? All things a new owner will want to know.
Most of all, foster parents provide a safe home and loving companionship to a homeless pet.
What does it cost to foster an animal?
There is no cost to foster a homeless pet. St. Francis provides all necessary supplies; food, leashes, kennels, kitty litter, grooming supplies, etc. All veterinary care is also paid for by St. Francis.
How long does an animal stay in a foster home?
Foster parents are asked to make a committment to care for their foster animal until it is adopted. It may take two weeks or five months. Animals coming into our program are generally frightened and confused. For the well-being of the animal we try to keep them in the same foster home until adopted.
How do I become an animal foster?
To become a foster for St. Francis Animal Rescue, you must be at least 21 years old. If you live with adult friends or family members, you must have approval from everyone in the household to become a foster.
Your first step is to complete a volunteer application. The application can be completed online or printed and mailed to us. After your application is reviewed you will go through a short telephone interview process. A home visit will be conducted before, and occassionally during, fostering.
It is not necessary to own your home in order to foster. However, if you rent you must provide St. Francis with the written consent of your landlord to have an animal on the property. If there are any restrictions, such as size or breed, you will need to provide us with a complete list.
All of the animals in our program are indoor companions only. They are meant to be a part of the family. All foster parents must agree that their foster animals will remain indoors. We realize that dogs will go outside to relieve themselves, go for walks and play with you in the yard. But, we ask that they live with you in the house and not outside in a kennel. Cats should not be allowed outdoors. Remember, often times a foster animal is confused and does not understand why it is going to another place to live. Until they are comfortable and feel secure, many foster animals will run away if given the chance.
How to apply
If you would like provide a temporary home to a homeless pet, please fill out and submit our online volunteer application or download the application and print and mail, email, or bring it to an Adoption Day.