Fostering a PAWS animal is an exceptional way to assist the shelter in helping more animals find loving homes. Many opportunities for long and short-term fostering are available, including:
- Newborn and very young kittens and puppies that require constant care including bottle feeding. The length of time required to foster may range from a weeks to months depending on the health or age of the animal.
- Sick animals undergoing treatment that will heal much faster in a home than in the busy, noisy, stressful shelter environment. This will also help ensure that whatever sickness the pet may have, will not be spread to other shelter animals. PAWS will provide you with the necessary medication or medical products needed throughout the foster period. The length of time required to foster sick animals could range from weeks to months.
- Young kittens who have been weaned from their mother, but are still too small to be spayed/neutered can be fostered until they meet the requirements necessary for adoption. The length of time required to foster could range from days to weeks. Kittens have a very weak immune system making them susceptible to illnesses. Fostering frees up kennel space, allowing PAWS to rescue more pets, and helps to boost their chance of survival by being away from another potentially ill shelter pet.
- Fast-track fostering is an agreement between you and PAWS to foster a healthy animal and do everything you can to help find a suitable adopter. This includes bringing them to adoption events and looking for adopters in your own way. We can provide you with wearable “adopt me” accessories to aid you in this process.
- Foster-to-adopt is allowed under certain circumstances based on the animal you wish to adopt. No puppies or kittens are available for this program. Foster-to-adopt is to help potential adopters see how the dog/cat of their choice fits into what will hopefully be their forever home. The program can last up to 2 weeks before a decision is to be made.
Before you consider becoming a PAWS foster parent, it’s important to learn more about what is expected. Below are guidelines you are required to follow to foster a PAWS animal.
- Potential PAWS foster parents understand that they are first approved as a potential adopters before being considered as a foster parent.
- PAWS foster parents know that the animal in their foster care are the property of PAWS. At any time, PAWS may request the animal(s) be returned and, at any time, the foster parent may return the animal to PAWS.
- PAWS fosters parents agree to provide adequate food, water, and exercise and abide by all guidelines and protocols regarding feeding, socialization, and health care, etc. as set forth by PAWS.
- PAWS fosters parents understand that general veterinary care will be provided to the foster animal by PAWS under the following situations only: monthly heartworm and flea preventatives, annual vaccines, general illnesses (such as upper respiratory sickness) and pre-existing medical conditions (such as heartworm or demodex treatments) only. Should the animal become ill or injured due to neglect, the foster parent is solely responsible for all costs associated.
- PAWS fosters parents agree to bring the foster animal to PAWS for scheduled appointments and, at least once a month for flea and heartworm preventative as well as routine exams as requested by the PAWS veterinarian.
- PAWS fosters parents know that, in the event of a mandatory evacuation due to a hurricane or other catastrophic event, they are required to take the foster animal with them to their evacuation location and maintain contact with PAWS at all times.
- PAWS fosters parents agree to keep the foster animal indoors at all times, unless under direct supervision. When outdoors, all foster dogs and puppies must be kept on a leash or in a secure fenced yard at all times. When being transported, cats and kittens must be kept in secure containers. For health reasons, puppies and kittens cannot be out in public where other animals have been, until they have received their last booster vaccination, usually around 4 months.
- If fostering the animal before making the decision to adopt, PAWS fosters parents agree that the decision as to whether or not to keep the animal as a permanent member of the family must be reached within a 7-day period. After the 7-day period, foster parents are required to either finalize the adoption or relinquish the animal.
- PAWS fosters parents must be 21 years of age or older.
- PAWS fosters parents understand that PAWS will make the final decision about the adoptability and ultimate placement of fostered animals into adopting homes.
- PAWS fosters parents agree that the fostered animal may not be boarded or left in the care of anyone other than you without prior approval of PAWS.
FAST-TRACK FOSTER PARENTS (ONLY) – During the fast-track period, you make a commitment to find a permanent home for the foster animal(s) in your care and agree to promote and market the animal(s) in order to find the best possible home. As a fast-track foster parent, you are required to bring the animal(s) to adoption events, promote the animal(s) on social media sites such as Facebook, take up-to-date photos and, regularly update PAWS on the animal’s condition in the foster home.
To see all of PAWS animals, click here.