What is a Foster?
A foster is a person who has the strength to give a special animal a temporary spot in their home (and heart) where they can feel loved and safe to help them thrive and become adoptable. Foster families provide animals TLC and one-on-one attention before they are adopted.
Sick or injured pets will recuperate better in a calm and nurturing foster home as opposed to the already overburdened shelter environment. Oftentimes, especially during Kitten Season, there are simply too many homeless pets and not enough shelter space. Without fosters many homeless animals would have to be humanely euthanized. Becoming a foster caregiver for Wags Pet clinic is just as rewarding to the caregiver as it is to the pet.
One of the side projects of Harmony Pet Clinic is a neonatal kitten unit. In 2016, over 400 kittens were euthanized at our county shelter. Our goal is to bring that number down to ZERO. In order to do that, we need foster parents! You don’t have to have a lot of time or space to foster, just a spare bedroom or bathroom!
There are quite a few different opportunities, here are a few types of foster parents we need:
- Fosters for mother cats with nursing kittens– These are the easiest to foster because mama does all the work! You just have to provide food and socialize.
- Bottle feeding fosters– These require a lot of time and dedication, but they don’t take up much space. Just a carrier or an open Rubbermaid container will do. These kittens do not have a mother so you will be responsible for feeding them every 2 hours around the clock. These kittens also must be kept warm and have to be simulated to go to the bathroom. You will be acting as mama.
- Weaned babies– These kittens will be fine in a playpen, crate, spare bedroom, or bathroom. They may need a little assistance learning to eat on their own if they are young, but they won’t need to be fed as frequently.
- Medical cases– We need fosters that are able to safely isolate kittens and treat for various medical conditions. Some of these include scabies, ringworm, upper respiratory infections, and broken bones.
- Unsocialized kittens– We need fosters who are able to nurture and socialize kittens who have never been around humans, or experienced a loving home.
What is provided to fosters? All training, supplies, and medical care will be provided by Harmony.
How do I become a foster caregiver?
- Make sure your schedule is ideal for fostering. Foster caregivers are asked to complete a minimum of three foster care contracts in one year. Foster pets, especially bottle babies, require a significant time commitment, so please make sure you consider your professional and personal obligations and speak with the Foster Caregiver about how much time your specific fosters will require.
- Make sure your home is ideal for fostering. We suggest a foster have an area already selected where they will eat and sleep. This can be a guest room, the kitchen, or a large bathroom can be used to slowly introduce an animal to your home. Allowing your new foster too much room to roam is not usually the best scenario. A secure, secluded location allows the animal to get acquainted to the new surroundings a little at a time. If you have pets at home, make sure to keep them separate from your fosters at first.
If any of this sounds exciting to you, please fill out a foster application and email it, or call for more information!