What is an animal foster parent/family?
An animal foster parent/family provides temporary, in-home care for friendly kittens, puppies, cats, dogs, rabbits or other animals in need until they can be placed for adoption.
Who should foster?
Someone who cannot, at the moment, adopt a pet for its entire lifetime. Foster parents should love animals and have room to welcome them while the animal waits for a permanent home.
Why are pet foster parents needed?
In North Carolina shelters euthanize thousands of healthy and friendly animals each year due to limited holding space. Local animal rescue groups have to turn away dozens of adoptable animals each week because they do not have enough foster parents. Not only do foster parents maximize the number of animals rescued, they also help to care for animals that would be difficult to care for in a shelter or kennel environment: puppies and kittens who are not strong enough to fight germs, orphaned kittens and puppies, animals recovering from major surgery, or dogs needing one-on-one behavior rehabilitation, socialization or a break from the shelter environment.
How long would I keep a foster animal?
The length of time a foster home is needed depends on the reason for fostering. Typically, pets stay in a foster home for two to 12 weeks.
What does it do for the animal?
The animal learns manners and socialization and is much less stressed than it would be in a shelter environment. Dogs that learn to bond and be confident in a foster home are able to do so in a new home again. By teaching them manners and basic obedience skills, you help them to become the sort of companion that most families want. Often foster animals have come from a difficult situation, and restoring their confidence and trust is an important step in helping them learn to be well-mannered, tolerant, loving and responsive.
Can I choose a particular animal to foster?
Our primary goal is to find loving, permanent homes for our animals. You will be able to choose what kind of foster animal would be best for you.
I already own an animal. Can I still foster?
Before you bring your foster animal home, consult with your veterinarian to make sure your own pets are up-to-date on their vaccinations. You may wish to ask your veterinarian if your pets need any additional vaccinations.
If I fall in love, can I adopt my foster animal?
Yes. Foster parents adopt many of our animals. You can, however, save many more lives if you are able to return your foster animal and take another who is in need of a temporary home.
Can I try to find a home for my foster animal on my own?
We love it when you find a home for your pet foster. All you need to do is bring the animal in and have the new adopters come to the Center to complete the adoption process.
When is the greatest need for foster homes?
Our greatest need is in the spring and summer, when many litters of kittens and puppies arrive at our shelter, but we have a year-round need for pet foster homes.
What types of pets need to be fostered?
- Infant puppies and kittens that require bottle-feeding every three to four hours
- Pregnant dogs and cats
- Nursing mothers and their litters
- Self-sufficient puppies and kittens
- Rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, ferrets, guinea pigs
- Animals recovering from treatable illnesses
- Underweight animals
- Animals in need of minor behavior modification and/or socialization
What are the requirements to be a pet foster parent?
- Be at least 18 years of age or have family participation.
- Have a valid driver's license.
- Have proof of medical, auto, and homeowner's or renter's insurance.
- If renting, provide proof of permission from your landlord that you can have pets in your home.
- A veterinary reference providing evidence that your personal pets are up-to-date on vaccinations and monthly preventatives, and are spayed/neutered.
- Ability to isolate the foster animal(s) from family pets.
- Live and house foster pets within Wake County (or nearby surrounding County).
Do I need to live in Wake County to foster?
You must live and house the foster pets either in Wake County or within a five-mile radius of the County to be adequately supported by the Wake County Animal Care, Control & Adoption Center. However, if you are willing to drive back and forth from outside the County as needed, it is possible, as we do have fosters that live outside the County. You may discuss individual concerns and expectations with the Foster Coordinator.
What else should I be prepared to do as a pet foster parent?
- Maintain a peaceful, loving environment for the foster animal(s) and spend quality time socializing them.
- Use the Wake County Animal, Care, Control & Adoption Center medical staff for basic medical care and treatment of the foster animal(s).
- Commit to the entire foster period for the animal(s) and return the animal(s) promptly at the end of the foster period.
- Be prepared for the possible illness or death of the foster animal(s).
- Be prepared for the possible destructive behavior of the foster animal(s).
How do I apply to be a pet foster parent?
If you are interested in opening your heart and home to these deserving animals, please complete the Animal Foster Program Questionnaire to initiate the application process. The Questionnaire can be completed online
Any further questions about the program can be directed to the Foster Coordinator, Joanne Duda via email, Joanne.Duda@wakegov.com
, or phone, 919-427-2107.