We take in over 5,000 homeless animals every year. With kennel space being limited, we rely heavily on citizens to open their heart and homes to these animals, providing them love and shelter while they wait for their "forever homes."
Who can foster?
Anybody who is at least 18 years old with room in their home and heart can foster. We do require that your personal animals be up to date on vaccines (for their protection), be spayed or neutered and that you have prior approval from your landlord if you do not own your home. Whether you are a college student, a retiree or work full time, we can find a foster animal that will suit your schedule.
What does it cost?
All veterinary care for your foster animal is handled by Animal Service Center staff, so no out of pocket veterinary expenses are incurred by our foster parents. We also provide basic supplies for fosters when available, so there is usually little to no out of pocket expense.
What types of animals are in need?
- Medical Needs
These animals have treatable conditions that just need a little extra care in a home. Dogs that need to undergo heartworm treatment, cats with Upper Respiratory Infections, recent amputees and ailments of all kinds fall into this category.
- Behavioral Needs
Not all animals do well in a kennel environment and need the structure and quiet that a home environment can provide.
- Space Needs
At times there are more adoptable animals at the shelter than we have kennels for. Having an active foster community is a key component to our goal of zero euthanasia of adoptable pets.
We like all kittens and puppies to be at least 8 weeks of age before they are adopted. In 2011, the ASC took in nearly 1,000 underage kittens and puppies. Many of these babies need only a few weeks of socialization and care before they are old enough to be adopted.
Finding a Forever Home
Once a foster animal has been declared adoptable by ASC staff, many options are available to you to help facilitate finding the perfect forever family. Foster pets are featured on many online outlets, adoption booth attendance is encouraged and we keep you informed about special events around town that will allow you to bring your foster animal.
All potential adopters must complete an adoption application and pay all adoption fees before taking possession of the animal.
What if I get attached?
Getting attached to an animal in your care is a normal part of fostering. Our foster parents are an important part of an animal's journey to a happy home. By fostering you are an integral part of the process and that's something you can feel great about. If you decide to adopt your foster animal, we do hope that you will continue to foster animals in need.
How long will the animal be in my home?
Many animals spend only a few weeks in a foster home before they are adopted, harder to place animals may take longer. We are dedicated to finding forever homes for these animals as quickly as possible. Returning the animal to the ASC to be placed in our adoption ward when kennel space is available is always an option for our foster parents.
I can't foster now, so how can I help?
Donate! Our foster program relies on donations from the public to supply our foster parents with everything they need. We are always accepting donations of the following items:
- Powdered Kitten and Puppy Formula
- Wire Collapsible Dog Crates (all sizes)
- Fleece Blankets (any condition)
- Cat Litter
- Canned Cat or Dog Food
- X Pens
- Cat Carriers
- Puppy Pads
- Kong dog chew toys
- Collars / Leashes
- Nursing Bottles
How do I get started?
Ready to join our foster community?
- Fill out a Foster Application (PDF) and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax it ATTN: Foster Coordinator to (850) 891-2977. You should hear back from the foster coordinator shortly after submitting your application.
- Once approved, you will be scheduled to attend a Foster Parent Orientation at the Animal Service Center.
- Prior to bringing an animal home, you may also be scheduled to attend a "teaching session" addressing specific animal care needs.
For additional information about our Foster Program, email email@example.com.