PET SAVE Fostering FAQs
What kinds of animals need fostering?
Animals are available to foster for a variety of reasons. They may be ready for adoption, or not quite yet due to their individual needs. We most commonly need fosters for:
- Neonatal and young kittens (seasonally)
- Recovering, sick or injured cats and dogs (of all sizes)
- Adult cats and dogs with special behavioral needs
- Large-breed dogs
Opportunities to foster puppies and healthy small-breed dogs are infrequent.
Why do animals need foster caregivers?
- Kitten Season: Each year, Pet Save supports vulnerable kittens born during the feline breeding season, or “kitten season,” which extends from spring to fall. In many cases, these are neonatal “bottle babies” in need of round-the-clock care. Fostering kittens helps them thrive in a home environment and prepare for adoption. Kitten foster periods may range from one to ten weeks.
- Socialization: Some cats and dogs have had limited social experiences before arriving to the shelter and need an attentive foster caregiver to help socialize them so that they can become more confident and trusting.
- Information & Training: Sometimes animals behave differently in a shelter than at home. Animals who need a break from the shelter environment often benefit from time with a foster caregiver who can monitor certain behaviors and work to modify them through positive reinforcement training with the guidance of our behavior team.
- Medical Recovery: Many animals require special medical attention and may need a foster who can provide medicated baths, physical therapy, daily medication or other medical care with the guidance of our medical team.
- Adoption Ambassador: Adoption-ready animals may need a foster who can actively promote them to help us find their new home. If are skilled with social media or networking is your thing, you could be an Adoption Ambassador!
Why should I foster?
Fostering an animal is a rewarding experience you’ll never forget, and it directly improves the lives of shelter animals. Whether you’re helping a dog learn to love and be loved or watching a kitten recover from illness or injury, fostering gives you the chance to single-handedly change an animal’s life for the better. Many of our animals come from tough circumstances and need someone special to help them along their journey—could that be you?
Will I need to provide all the food and supplies for my foster animal?
Pet Save covers all medical expenses and provides foster caregivers with the food, equipment and supplies they need to care for their foster animals. You provide your home, time, attention, commitment, and love!
How long does fostering last?
Foster periods typically last anywhere from 1-2 weeks to several months. It always depends on that individual animal’s needs, and we make the timing expectations clear for each animal we seek foster homes for so that you can pick the best match for you and your schedule.
Who can foster for Pet Save?
To join the foster program, you must be:
- At least 18 years old
- Located in the Northern Ontario (some exceptions apply) to get to and from our shelter/vet as needed for foster pick-ups, drop-offs, medical appointments, and supplies.
We also welcome foster caregivers with professional veterinary experience to assist animals who require special medical attention.
Can I foster if I have other pets at home?
Yes! If you have other pets, we ask that they are up to date on vaccinations and that you provide a separate space for your foster pet to allow for a gradual and safe introduction. For dog owners looking to foster dogs, we will often arrange a dog-dog meet & greet with our behavior team to set you up for success before taking a foster dog home.
If you foster for other organizations, that’s great too! We just ask that you refrain from fostering for multiple organizations at the same time, to prevent safety and health concerns.
Will I need any special training to foster?
Many foster opportunities do not require additional training, but we encourage our fosters to continue to learn and grow. The more we learn, the more we can accomplish together!
If you’re interested in fostering neonate kittens, Pet Save will provide you with hands-on bottle-baby kitten training to prepare you to care for these very special kittens.