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Each year our foster parents save the lives of hundreds of animals by giving them a second chance.

Our foster program was designed to move animals into the community as a way of providing more time for the animal to get adopted into a permanent home. While most animals are adopted out of the kennels, others need extra attention to get adopted. That is where the foster program comes 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 their time and love.

Becoming a Foster Parent

The first step is to fill out a Foster Care Application and bring or mail it to the shelter. The next step is to attend a Foster Orientation Class. Foster Orientation Classes are held on the first and third Sundays of each month at 2 p.m. Advanced registration is not required.

Qualifications

Cat/Kitten

Cat/Kitten foster homes 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 to give momma cat 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, where it is safe and secure until they are adopted.

Dogs/Puppies

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

Our Foster Parents Are Asked To…

Give your foster animal lots of attention and affection. The animal may have lived 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. Read our guidelines carefully. Study warning signs that may indicate the animal needs veterinary attention.

Be prepared to make a financial commitment. Before volunteering to foster an animal, find out what costs you will incur. Although we try to provide food and other equipment for Special Needs animals, you may be asked to pay for food and supplies. Veterinary care at the shelter clinic is provided free of charge to foster animals. However, foster parents must make an appointment by contacting the foster office at (208) 331-8557.

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 a Special Needs animal that must be returned to the shelter, be sure to return the animal to the Shelter at the scheduled time. 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 who 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 the 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.

Need More Information?

For more information on the Foster Program, please contact the Foster Office at fosterprogram@idahohumanesociety.org or at (208) 331-8557. We would love to have you join the hundreds of people experiencing the rewards of caring for homeless animals in our community.

Foster Program Events

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