Thank you for considering becoming a foster parent for the lifesaving Providence Animal Center! We placed 4,002 cats and dogs in forever homes in 2017, and we were only able to do that because of dedicated foster families. Fostering is one of the most rewarding things you will ever do because you have the ability to touch the lives of so many orphaned animals.
Our lifesaving team works round-the-clock to provide for the animals in our care, but our shelter space is currently limited. Thanks to the work of foster families, we are able to create satellite shelters in the community. On any given day, our amazing foster homes help us double the number of animals we can rescue!
Foster parents are always needed for cats, kittens, dogs and puppies – from orphaned kittens who need round-the-clock feedings to animals who find the shelter environment too stressful – and everything in between. Some animals need as little as 2 weeks of care while others may need a few months.
No matter how little or as much time as you can dedicate, there's an animal that would benefit from your help. Every animal that is placed into a foster home means another life we can bring to the Adoption Center and therefore save!
Foster homes are most needed for:
- Pets that cannot live with other pets
- Dogs over 40 pounds who are stressed in the shelter environment
- Animals that are extremely shy or timid
- Moms with nursing kittens or puppies
- Motherless kittens needing to be bottle-fed
- Orphaned puppies and kittens ages 4-8 weeks old
For further information, please email our Foster Coordinator or give us a call at 610-566-1370 x213.
What is a foster parent/family?
A volunteer foster parent is someone who takes an animal into their home temporarily. Any individual, family or business with the compassion and willingness to help animals in need can serve as a foster home. Foster terms can range from a few days or weeks to a month or more depending on the preferences of the foster parent and the needs of the animal.
How long is the foster care commitment?
Foster terms can range from a few days or weeks to a month or more depending on the preferences of the foster parent and the needs of the animal.
What are the expenses for a foster parent?
Foster homes should be prepared to provide food, water, litter, crates and toys for their foster pets. However, the Adoption Center frequently has these items donated and we are happy to make them available to foster homes for free when we can. Foster parents also incur expenses traveling to and from the Providence Animal Center facility for free routine medical care for the foster pet(s).
Foster parents are not responsible for medical bills for their foster pet(s). Providence Animal Center incurs the cost of all medical care for all foster pets as long as care is received through the Center or through a pre-approved community veterinary partner.
What are the requirements for foster parents?
Prospective foster parents must be at least 18 years old and complete an application, which is reviewed by a member of the Foster Care team. If you have pets, all must be up-to-date on their vaccinations. We will also be checking with the home owner that foster pets are welcome. For both dogs and cats, we require rabies and distemper annually. For dogs only, we require the bordetella vaccination be given every 6 months. In addition, all resident pets must be spayed or neutered. We also require owned cats to be indoor-only. We reserve the right to do a home inspection once all references are checked. While not required, we strongly recommend a spare room to keep your foster animals in. As a foster parent of Providence Animal Center, you must have a working email address and be able to provide photos and behavior information about your foster pet. You must also be able to physically transport your foster pet to and from the Center.
What if I foster a pet and fall in love – can I adopt? Or what if a friend or family member wants to adopt my foster?
This is extremely common, and we try to be as accommodating as possible. However, there are times when this will not be possible due to the fact that pets are promoted to the public in advance, and therefore our first good home come, first good home serve process must be followed. In the event that this accommodation is possible, we ask that you let the Foster Coordinator know at least 5 days prior to the pet's adoption available date that you or a friend/family member is interested in adopting your foster pet. After you inform the Foster Coordinator, a completed adoption application must be provided by the primary adopter to the Foster Coordinator for checks and approval. Once the pet becomes available for adoption, the potential adopter must promptly head to the Center to sign the adoption contract and pay the adoption fee.
- Fostering not only helps the animal in your care, it also opens up a spot in the Adoption Center for other animals in need. You may think it will be hard to give the animal up, but the reward of knowing you saved their life, the lives of other animals that took their cage and helped make a family complete will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.
- Are you at least 18 years of age? Though we encourage children to be a part of the fostering experience, adults are required to be the primary caregivers of the foster animals in the home.
- How much time do you have for a foster animal? Puppies and kittens can require care every few hours while adults animals may be able to be left alone for longer periods of time.
- What is your lifestyle? If you are active, a young, energetic dog may be a great choice. Like to take things easy? A senior foster pet may be purrfect.
- Do you have other pets? If so, are you able to separate the foster animals from your own animals? Some foster animals have limited immunity, and others may need space to decompress. While not required, we strongly recommend a spare room to keep your foster animal(s) in if you have other pets.
- Foster parents are representatives of Providence Animal Center in the community. It's essential to adhere to our policies and procedures when taking our animals into your home. When outside, puppies and dogs must be supervised in an enclosed yard or on a leash. Kittens and cats must be kept indoors at all times.
If you are unable to temporarily open your home to an animal at this time, you can still help make a difference by making a donation.