Foster

While many animals are adopted shortly after they arrive at the shelter, others need extra attention before they’re ready for adoption. That is where our amazing foster parents come in.

Our foster parent program is made up of community volunteers who take animals into their homes, give them care and help them find their forever homes. The shelter provides food, blankets, towels, crates and medical care for the animals. The only expense to the foster family is time and love.

Please be aware that we cannot temporarily foster public animals. All animals must be surrendered to the Idaho Humane Society before being considered for our foster program.

Becoming a Foster Parent

The first step is to fill out an application. Then, you will need to attend a foster orientation class. Foster orientations are held on the first Sunday of each month at 2 p.m. Advanced registration is not required and other arrangements can be made if you contact the foster office at (208) 331-8557 or fosterprogram@idahohumanesociety.org.

Qualifications

Cats and kittens

Foster homes for cats or kittens are always in demand. In order to foster cats, you must be able to separate them from your own animals for several days, until they are more secure with their surroundings. Mothers and kittens must always have separate living quarters so that mama cat has a secure place to take care of her young. Most foster parents use a spare bathroom or utility area for the family. Cats must stay indoors at all times.

Dogs and puppies
To foster a dog, you must have a fenced yard that is adequate for the size of dog you want to foster. And you need to be able to offer the foster dog a place in the house. All of your own pets need to be spayed or neutered and up-to-date on their shots. You must also be 21 years of age or older.

 

Foster Parent Responsibilities

Give your foster animal lots of attention and affection. The animal may have had a difficult life before coming to your home. Your love and attention will help heal the animal’s psychological wounds.

Learn as much as you can about pet care. Before you bring your foster animal home, learn as much as you can about caring for that particular type of animal. Read about feeding, grooming, and training. Study our guidelines carefully, and know the warning signs that may indicate the animal needs veterinary attention.

Make your home pet friendly. Before you bring your foster animal home, make sure you pet-proof your home. For example, remove poisonous plants and protect furnishings. Keep the animal’s room warm and comfortable. Also, take steps to prevent the animal from escaping.

Keep your pets up to date on their vaccinations. All animals should be current on vaccinations that protect them from diseases. Before you bring home a foster animal, consult your veterinarian to make sure your own animals have received the preventive treatment they need to keep them safe.

Keep foster animals away from your own pets, at least initially. A foster pet may come into your home harboring contagious diseases. Even though your pets are vaccinated against many diseases, it’s a good idea to keep the foster animal away from your pets for at least a week as an added precaution.

Recognize your limits. Fostering requires a great deal of time and energy – both emotional and physical. Don’t overextend yourself by fostering animals too frequently or you may burn yourself out.

Return the animal to the shelter on time. The Shelter depends on you to make its program work. If you have an animal that must be returned to the shelter at a certain time, make sure to do so. If you decide to adopt an animal you foster, you must go through the shelter’s normal adoption process. If a friend or relative wants to adopt the animal you are fostering, that person must go through the shelter’s adoption process also.

Understand that some foster animals will not survive. Many animals that arrive at the shelter come from unknown backgrounds. Despite your best efforts, the animal you foster may develop a severe illness that cannot be treated. Do the best you can to help the animal, but accept the fact that you cannot save them all.

Understand the requirements to become a foster parent.

  • Have the support of all individuals living in your home.
  • Have the consent of your landlord.
  • Read our guidelines and attend the foster parent orientation.
  • Complete the foster care application.
  • Have your own pets current on all their vaccinations.
  • Understand that the Idaho Humane Society is not responsible for any damage or injury done by a foster animal in your care.
  • Understand that all animals remain the property of the Idaho Humane Society.

Enjoy being a foster parent. Although fostering takes a great deal of time and commitment, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience.