What is the purpose of fostering an animal from the Humane Society?

Our foster program allows us to place long-term, at risk animals and young animals into appropriate foster homes to give them the best chance at thriving in a loving home environment until an appropriate adopter is found or the animal can be placed into the adoption center.

Make a difference in the community!

Thousands of animals call the Humane Society their temporary home each year. Caring for all of them is a huge job and our staff of 35 can not do it alone! We need our volunteer fosters to step in and care for the ones that need the extra special attention that we just can not offer in a shelter environment. By fostering, you are not only bettering the life of the animal that you take into your home, but you are opening up a kennel space for  another animal that needs care! That’s right, you have a double impact just from one act of kindness! It wouldn’t be completely honest to say that fostering is without its difficult times. Sometimes it is hard to say goodbye, and sometimes there may be an ill animal that just doesn’t make it no matter how hard we try. While the animals may not be able to verbally say thank you, I think we can all agree that the tail wags, the couch cuddles and the smiles on the adopters faces makes every minute spent fostering worth it.

How does fostering benefit the animals?

When an animal is in a shelter environment it is sometimes hard to know its true personality. We don’t know if it is house-trained or if it knows any fun tricks. When you take them home and they start to feel comfortable you are able to get so much valuable information for the potential adopter. You can also help teach them things they may not have learned in their previous home which will make them even more adoptable! The time spent with you will help reinforce how they are supposed to behave in a home instead of some of the rude behaviors they sometimes pick up in a kennel.

What will be needed from me as a foster parent?

  • Time
  • Transportation
  • Socialization
  • Living space
  • Lots of T.L.C

What will the Humane Society provide for the animal (s) I foster?

  • Veterinary care
  • Food & bowls
  • Litter (cats)
  • Collar/Harness/Leash (dogs)
  • Towels/Blankets
  • Any other supplies needed
  • Eventually a forever home!

We strive to cover as much of the expenses as possible to make this a pleasant experience for our foster families. However we do not cover travel expenses to and from the shelter and adoption events.

Is this a long term commitment?

Each animal will have its own set of special needs and commitment requirements. Some animals may just need to be in a home environment while that perfect forever family is found, while some require more extensive care. For example, small kittens must be at least 8 weeks of age and of a healthy weight (usually around 2lbs) for spay/neuter surgery before they can be available for adoption. However, a dog may be in your home for a several weeks before that perfect adopter is found. Heartworm positive dogs in foster care may staff with their foster family for several months while the dog goes through treatment. This time in your home saves the animal from being alone in a kennel.

Fostering is a family affair!

Fostering a shelter pet can be a great way to teach compassion to age appropriate children and get the family together on an act of kindness. Everyone can pitch in on the extra chores and care but also the fun parts like playing ball with “Spot” or laser tag with “Fluffy.”

Here are a few things to think about in regards to your family…

  • Are they willing and able to help the care and socialization of the added animal?
  • Are they emotionally able to handle returning the animal when it is time for it to be adopted?
  • Is there anyone with pet allergies in the home?
  • Do you have room in your home to allow the pet to have their own space?
  • Do we have the time to dedicate to a foster pet with all of our family activities?


Thank you for your interest in becoming a HSSJC Foster! Our Foster Coordinator will get back to you shortly about the next step in your journey to help homeless shelter pets.