Becoming a Foster Home
We have a great need for loving foster homes. Please review the information below. If after reading it you think you might be interested in helping us by taking one or more CAPS animals into your home, please fill out and return the foster application. We will review it and contact you.
What is fostering?
Foster parents are volunteers who welcome these beautiful animals into their homes and hearts. They provide loving, caring attention that socializes the pets to prepare them for permanent adoption. Lives are saved through foster care!
The animals will be vaccinated when old enough, dewormed, spayed or neutered, and given other routine medical care. They will then be assigned to a foster home and listed on Petfinders for adoption. CAPS will handle the application and screening procedures for potential adopters. Some (especially kittens) will be adopted quickly and others may need to be in foster care for a longer period of time.
Why becoming a foster home is so important?
Fostering literally provides a second chance at life for homeless cats and dogs. Since most rescue groups, like CAPS, do not have the means or facilities to provide a traditional shelter for homeless animals, they utilize homes, just like yours, to house animals in transition to their adoptive homes. To provide a foster home is to help CAPS save a life. People, just like you, provide our foster homes. They open their hearts and homes to care for one or more cats and dogs. Some homes take only one dog or cat while others can take up to ten. Regardless of the number, each of these homes, working together with CAPS, helps save a life that otherwise would not have been saved, giving those animals a chance for a forever home. The foster parents provide security, love and a place for these animals to call home until a permanent adoptive owner or family can be found.
Many people are hesitant to foster. They are afraid they will want to adopt every homeless pet who comes through their doors. The truth is that foster animals will usually bond with you and your family, sometimes immediately, but other times it takes longer. It’s only natural when you give love and care to one of these abandoned or abused animals that you may grow attached. However, letting go becomes so much easier when you see the screening process for finding the best adoptive homes and hear the wonderful follow-up stories from these new homes. CAPS allows and even encourages you to be a part of this process of placing the animals. And when you see how much love these beautiful creatures give to and receive from their new families, you will be proud and grateful to have been a part of saving their lives.
Which cats need fostering?
- Kittens who are too young to be adopted
- Moms with nursing kittens
- Kittens and adult cats who are old enough to be adopted but need a foster home until then are placed
- Cats needing socialization because they are very shy, have never been around people, or have been abused or neglected
- Older cats who do not do well in multi-cat foster homes
- Cats with special needs
- Cats with behavioural problems
While some volunteers do end up adopting their foster pets, please note that the foster program is not for people who want to “try out” an animal prior to adopting them.
What is expected of foster parents?
Simply put, you would need to provide a clean, nurturing, safe, indoor home for the CAPS animals. You must have a reliable car and be willing to take the animal to the veterinarian for vaccinations and other medical treatments as necessary. You will need to give medication when prescribed by a veterinarian. You must also welcome potential adopters to your home to see your foster animals.
Would I be responsible for my foster cat’s vet expenses?
No. CAPS will handle all medical care, the cost of medications and other expenses through approval from CAPS only. CAPS will provide food, litter and lend food/water bowls, litter boxes, linen and a carrier, if needed. If the foster parents can buy food and supplies themselves to further help out CAPS, we will provide you with a tax deductible receipt once your accounts are submitted.
Questions to ask yourself before fostering a cat
- Can you handle the emotional part of fostering?
- Do you have the time needed to care for your foster animal(s)?
- Can you handle saying goodbye to them when they are adopted?
- Are you patient enough to handle a shy animal who may hide?
- Are you patient with the amount of time it takes to introduce a foster to your own animals, knowing it takes a while for the adjustment? Your foster animal should be kept in a separate room for the first few days. Is this possible for you?
- Kittens can be quite fragile and you could lose one due to illness without much or any warning. Are you prepared for the possibility of fostering a cat or kitten who may not live?
- Are your house and family “cat safe”?
- Are you patient and willing to clean up after foster animals?
- Can you accept the possibility that you are taking in a rescue animal who may harbour disease, viruses and worms and that any of these could potentially infect your own pets before their illness is discovered? For this reason, keeping a foster animal segregated from other animals in the household is very important until a clean bill of health can be determined.
We need loving, ethical and devoted families to help us foster animals. We want families who will care for them and love them they would their own pets.
Fostering Requirements and Information
CAPS prefers that foster homes be within Annapolis or Kings County thereby assuring quick access to our partnering Valley CAPS vets.
- Your own cats must be vaccinated for FVRCP and Feline Leukemia and spayed or neutered. Leukemia vaccine is necessary for the safety of your own pet(s) and your foster pet(s).
- If any medical concerns or an emergency occurs with one of your foster animals you must contact CAPS directly and they will set up an appointment at one of our vet clinics.
- Medical records for each animal must be kept up-to-date.
- All cats must be kept indoors only! They are never allowed outdoors. If you have small children you must make sure that they will close the door behind them.
- If your foster animal is not working out, immediately call CAPS and we will arrange another home.
- If you decide you want to keep your foster animal, you will have to go through the normal adoption procedure.
- If someone is interested in adopting your foster animal, they must go through CAPS. We will screen the potential adopters and process the paper work. If you don’t feel comfortable meeting and dealing with the family interested in adopting, please let us know. We respect your concerns and only want the right families to adopt our foster animals.
- You will be responsible for watching for any signs of illness or changes in eating, drinking, urination, stools, sneezing, runny eyes, nasal discharge or behaviour.
- You will need to spend quality time with your foster animals to socialize them and get to know their personalities. This will help place them in the right homes.
- No animal is perfect! Don’t expect them to be. You must give them time to adjust.
- The foster animal belongs to CAPS.
- You are not allowed to give your foster animal away.
- If the animal gets out by accident, you must contact us immediately!
- If we feel that an animal is not happy in your home or is not being well cared for, CAPS has the right to place them in a new foster home.
- A home inspection may be required for all new potential foster homes. This allows us to make sure the house is “cat safe” for the foster animal.
Finally, some rewards associated with being a foster parent
- You will give a dog or cat a second chance at life and love.
- You will provide a good home, instead of a cage or a crate, until a permanent home can be found.
- You can give a foster animal a chance at a real life inside a house, to experience love and care, and the pampered life of a domestic cat instead of an uncertain, hard future on the street just fighting to survive.
- You will experience that warm, fuzzy feeling of seeing an abused or abandoned cat or dog learn to trust people, to give and receive love.
- You will be part of the solution to the rising animal euthanasia (kill) statistics in our nation.
- You will know that you have saved a life and made a difference!
Does fostering sound right for you?
If yes, please complete and submit our fostering application.
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