Becoming a Foster Parent

Our shelter manager is also a proud foster parent, featured here with one of her foster pups.

Foster Parents come in all ages.

While HSSET would love to take in every animal that comes to our doors time, funding, and spacial concerns prevent us from doing so. HSSET operates at full capacity seven days a week, 365 days a year—just when we open a space it is almost instantly filled again. This can make things difficult, especially in spring and early summer, when there are a surplus of animals we just don’t have the room to care for. That’s where you can help us most.

Our Foster Care Program consists of a group of dedicated volunteers ready and willing to open their homes to special needs cases, animals who need extra time and attention before they’re ready for the adoption floor, and surplus animals we just can’t take in at that moment. Sometimes they stay with their foster parents for a few months, other times only a few days. Each case is special and unique, and our fosters enjoy the incredibly rewarding work of guiding these animals through to their forever home.

Here’s how it works:

  1. We receive a dog or cat that can’t be immediately placed in the shelter. Our clinic staff will evaluate each animal to determine their individual care requirements.
  2. Foster homes are called and/or sent a text message. The first willing foster home will come to HSSET and pick up the animal—along with information and supplies.
  3. The foster animal returns to the shelter for scheduled check-ups and adoption events.
  4. They are adopted, and live happily ever after!

HSSET is always looking to expand our network of willing volunteers, but some precaution must be taken. Though rewarding work, Fostering can be a significant challenge. Understanding ones own limits and capabilities can make all the difference between a great fostering experience and a terrible one. Some Foster Parents are more comfortable with some types of dogs than others, for instance, or prefer to foster only cats. Some houses can foster multiple animals, other can only take one at a time.

Regardless of how many animals they can or are willing to handle, HSSET is grateful for each and everyone of our Foster Parents. They provide a much needed service for the community.


Things to Consider Before Becoming a Foster

  • Will you have time to spend with each animal--your pets and the foster(s)? Expect to spend 1-2 hours a day at minimum. Socialization is vital to an animal’s success in being adopted.
  • Do you already have animals? If so, you’ll need to keep your foster animals separated from your pets. Your dogs and cats can be vulnerable to illness.
  • Do you have time to bathe, groom and clean up after your foster animal? Puppies and kittens are always doing one of five things: eating, sleeping, playing, peeing, or pooping.
  • Will you be emotionally prepared to return your foster animal to HSSET? Usually, this is the most difficult part of the process. It’s easy to become attached to foster animals.
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