Many dogs and cats in our community are in need of finding permanent homes. Finding responsible, loving homes can take time so we have many dedicated Foster homes that give our animals a safe place until their forever homes can be found. Foster homes are absolutely invaluable in the equation of finding solutions for the homeless pet problem. By opening your home and heart to a homeless pet you are giving them a much needed second chance at life.
Many of the animals that need a foster home are the ones that need a little extra TLC. Young puppies and kittens, dogs that are experiencing kennel stress and animals that are recuperating from illness or surgery are in particular need. These animals simply could not be helped if not for our very special foster homes.
When you foster an animal you truly make a difference – you saved that life. If you can find the extra love in your heart, a little more space in your home and time in your schedule, please consider joing this important program.
Home At Last needs foster homes from dogs, cats and small animals (such as: rabbits, guinea pigs and birds – like cockatiels). The length of the foster period may vary from several weeks to a month or possibly longer depending on why the animal needs foster care. Some of the main reasons animals need foster care are:
Lack of space at the shelter
Temporary illnesses like kennel cough in dogs – or – upper respiratory infection in cats
Under-age kittens or puppies that need to get a little older and bigger before being available for adoption
Mother dogs and cats with their litters
Animals experiencing severe stress who need a break from the shelter
Animals who are in need of a little extra socialization and/or training
If you are interested in becoming a Home At Last Foster home or have any questions, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 541-296-5189 or email email@example.com
Foster Home Care Frequently Asked Questions
Home At Last takes in animals that have been abandoned, picked up as strays, or released by owners that can no longer care for them. Some animals are also transferrred in from other shelters and rescue groups that have run out of space and/or resources.
The time frame varies depending on the reason the animal is in foster care. As a “rule of thumb” the average stay is up to one month. The Foster Coordinator will work with you to place animals in your home that match your schedule and time commitment you wish to make.
A foster home basically needs a little extra room, a yard for most dogs, some time to spend with the animal and lots and lots of love! With some animals you might need a little extra patience – but others just blend in with their new temporary family. Ill or shy animals may need a spare bedroom or bathroom until they are healthy and/or comfortable enough to be introduced to the rest of the family or returned to the shelter for adoption.
The costs are minimal. We supply all medical care, a crate and food needed. You supply the love, attention, a safe place to be and a warm bed to sleep in. Of course if you really want to spoil them – stop by Home At Last for some treats!
Most Home At Last Foster homes already have other animals. Usually dogs will accept and even welcome a new friend to play with very easily. Most cats will enjoy or at least tolerate the addition of another feline if introduced properly. Others will not be as receptive to sharing their quarters with another pet. We will help you with the transition since most of our staff have been through fostering ourselves by giving you advice on how best to introduce your new foster to your existing pets. In some cases, particularly with cats who have colds or litters of kittens – it is perfectly appropriate to confine them to a spare bedroom or bathroom for the entirety of the foster period.
We will help you with the transition and be there for support in any difficulities you may encounter. If an animal is obviously not fitting into your home – we will find a new place for it, either back at the shelter or in another foster home. We do ask that you give the animal enough time to settle in to its new surroundings. All animals go through a certain “settling-in” period. Times vary from animal to animal and behaviors they exhibit will vary as well. You will begin to recognize when a dog or cat finally does let its guard down and decides he/she is safe.
Almost ALL dogs (and cats too!) have some personality or behavior issue. Dogs that come through Home At Last are no better or worse than any other dog. We temperament test all dogs coming into the shelter to the best of our ability and, when possible, gather as much information from previous owners. Some animals will know a lot of basic commands and have wonderful manners – while some have been taught nothing. It is up to the foster home to decide what type of dog they are comfortable taking home. Home At Last staff works hard to match up each dog with an appropriate foster home. We do not accept dogs that have bitten a person or that are aggressive towards people or other animals. If we find that a dog in our foster care program exhibits any of these behaviors they will be removed from the program and will not be adopted out.
We hear this most often. While it is difficult to let our new friends go, if we have done our job and they are being adopted to a great new home, we can be happy knowing they will be safe, happy and loved. Remember, there are many, many more animals waiting to fill that spot in your home and heart. The real question should be “Is it fair to allow homeless pets to die simply because we are afraid it will hurt us when we have to let them go?” We have come to realize that these animals love us when they are with us and we are their lifeline and caretakers. When these animals are adopted into their forever home – they transfer their love and devotion to their new owners and become happy once again in a very short time. You can feel good that another animal is alive, happy and safe just because you weren’t afraid of a little hurt.