Foster Information

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Foster Pets

Are awaiting you…
Wanderers’ Rest depends on the help of fosters in many ways. Fostering can be a fun and rewarding way of helping the homeless pets entrusted to us. Just a few hours a week can make a huge difference in the lives of our sheltered pets.
Please fill out all areas of the application:  WRHA Foster Application

What is a foster home?

A foster parent provides a temporary home for pets that need a little “extra care” before going to their new home. Sometimes the foster home is the first stable and loving environment the pets have ever experienced. Foster parents have the unique opportunity to personally help our rescued animals.

Why are foster parents needed?

Simply put, foster parents maximize the number of pets who can be saved. Foster homes also provide a place where kennel stressed pets can unwind and act like…well normal pets! We have a hand full of fosters who also dedicate their time to working with dogs and cats who may have a behavioral issues that can be addressed outside of the shelter. Foster homes are so very important to our organization for so many reasons.

Become a foster parent?

Choosing to be a foster parent is a serious undertaking. It will change your routine and your own companion animals will need to be okay with it. Fostering is a very rewarding experience for everyone involved. Not only do foster parents nurture and care for their charges, they really “share” the experience with the animals. Becoming a foster parent can be rigorous, but it is always rewarding! Fostering also helps us evaluate the pet so we can provide as much information as possible to help us place the pet in the perfect home.

Would I be a good foster parent?

Do you have a spare bedroom, bathroom, laundry room, etc.? Would you feel good knowing you are making a difference, in the life of a displaced pet? A few months of inconvenience turns quickly into a rewarding, educational, challenging, and fun experience you will never forget.

What is involved?

This involves feeding, cleaning, grooming, and playing with the animals. Sometimes, however, that’s just the tip of the iceberg for fosters. Because many rescued animals are sick, stressed, or frightened, they may require special care. A frightened animal may require weeks of extra attention and behavioral modification to become ready for adoption. Fostering a pet in need of shelter, love, and guidance is a time-consuming effort, but it’s also one of the most rewarding ways to help homeless pets. Providing a “stepping stone” for animals in search of permanent homes saves lives, alleviates the strain on animal shelters, helps set the stage for successful adoptions, and teaches you the skills that will enable you to help other animals in need.

Does fostering fit your household and your life?

The health and welfare of all individuals in your home — human and animal — must be considered before bringing in another creature. Fostering a homeless pet should never be considered unless your home environment is happy, safe, healthy, and spacious enough to nurture the foster pet adequately and retain sanity among the existing members of your home. If any of your family members have allergies, excessive stress, other physical or mental health issues, career instability, financial difficulties, or housing or space restrictions, fostering is not a good option for you at this time. But if you believe you have the ability to foster, and the entire household agrees that fostering would be a positive experience, your next question should be….

“Do I have the time?”
Fostering a shelter pet is a 24/7 job. Although you may not be physically interacting with the animal every second of the day, you will be responsible around the clock for the pet’s safety, comfort, and general well-being, and this responsibility alone can be exhausting. If your work or family schedule is already so hectic that adding another time-consuming responsibility will only create more stress, do not consider fostering at this time. The amount of personal attention needed will vary greatly from animal to animal, but you can expect to spend anywhere from three to seven hours a day interacting with a foster pet, and even more if you’re planning to foster puppies or kittens. Teaching dogs or cats the lessons they will need to become happy, thriving, lifelong members of another family is the essence of fostering, and this takes time and patience.

Can I keep the pet I foster if I want to?

Yes, you usually can. It does happen quite often, because it is only natural to become attached to a pet you take care of and nurture. We suspect is one of the reasons that foster homes are in short supply. If you do become inseparably attached to a foster pet, we hope you will still volunteer to foster other pets in the future.

Do I get to choose the pet I foster?

This is not very likely. The program will place a pet based on need, temperament, and matched to your abilities.

Can I foster an adoptable to see how they do in my home?

Wanderers’ Rest Humane Association does provide a “foster to adopt” program. Our staff works hard to match you as the foster with the best adoptable dog or cat.

What about expenses?

Wanderers’ Rest Humane Association will provide each foster family with food, litter, and general care. Any unapproved veterinary costs will not be covered by Wanderers’ Rest Humane Association.

Letting go?

It can be a difficult process for you to let them go but keep this in mind: Once one rescue has found a good home that opens up a space for another one to be saved. We know what you are thinking… Oh, I could NEVER do that! I could NEVER give up the pet! Well, we know how you feel, because we all felt the same. Admittedly, it is not painless, you do cry, and you miss them. Yet, we promise, the pain disappears when your NEW pet arrives from the shelter that NEEDS you. The pain is fleeting compared to the wonderful feeling of knowing that YOU truly saved a pet’s life by allowing us to have enough foster homes. Anyone who fosters must be realistic about the expected outcome: that the animal will be adopted by another family. While it is impossible not to become attached to a sweet dog or cat living in your home, it’s necessary to keep your original goals in mind and remain committed to finding the animal a new family.

I already own a dog and a cat. Can I still foster?

We ask that you keep a foster cat separate from your own pets. Foster dogs may be allowed to interact with your own pets. Before you bring a foster animal home, WRHA will ensure that your pets are current on vaccines (including felv/fiv testing for cats and heartworm testing for dogs).

Meet and greets are MANDATORY for families who have other dogs in their home who wish to foster a shelter dog. This initial meet and greet will allow staff to assess the dog’s compatibility and catch any potential issues before a family takes their foster pet home.