Fostering is an amazing way to help a shelter animal without committing to adopting.
Our most fragile shelter residents need love and socialization.
Recovery goes so much better in a home than in the shelter.
They can't tell their stories, but we know they need us.
Time away from the shelter reduces stress and increases adoptability.
Fosters can watch infant puppies and kittens grow to adoption age, as well as older animals who need time to socialize or recover after medical procedures.
Foster time frames range from two weeks to two months. We provide you with all of the supplies you need, and we’ll work with you to tailor the time frame and pets to your unique situation.
First, we ask all potential foster families to fill out our foster application, which can be found above on this page. Once we’ve received your application, the Lifesaving Coordinator from the BVSPCA Campus closest to you will reach out via email or phone to begin the onboarding process. All potential foster families must then attend a virtual foster orientation. After completing orientation, you’ll officially be eligible to take in foster pets. Our Lifesaving Coordinators put out pleas for pets in need of fostering through email and in our BVSPCA Fosters Facebook Group. When you’re ready, tell your Lifesaving Coordinator you can take in a pet or group of pets they’ve asked about!
All ages and types of shelter pets can be in need of fostering, including:
Cats and dogs that are too young for adoption
Pregnant/nursing moms and babies
Adult cats and dogs needing time to recover medically, for socialization or as a break from the shelter
BVSPCA’s shelter pets come from a variety of sources, including:
Stray dogs brought in from Delaware’s Office of Animal Welfare and BVSPCA’s Animal Protective Services Division in Chester & Delaware Counties
Ill or injured stray cats or kittens
Pets saved from neglectful or cruel conditions in their former homes
Pets surrendered by their owners
Pets transported to us from areas across the country with more available animals than potential adopters
Absolutely! Our foster program has opportunities for just about any work schedule.
Foster families provide an important service for animals that need additional care beyond the shelter environment, including:
Affection and proper socialization
Physical and mental stimulation
Additionally, foster families are expected to provide a safe and healthy environment for their foster pets and must transport them to and from the shelter for veterinary treatment.
The foster length varies based on the animal and the reason for foster care. On average we ask for a commitment of a few weeks.
We do not recommend exposing foster animals to your personal pets unless the BVSPCA has instructed you to do so. Pets placed in foster care may be too young to be fully vaccinated or may have other medical concerns. Other foster pets may not have interacted with other animals before, and we can’t be fully sure how they will react. However, many foster animals display behaviors in a home that we do not observe in a shelter environment, often in a positive way. Foster homes can let true personalities shine through!
BVSPCA will provide you with all of the necessary tools for foster success. This may include veterinary care, food, medications, and a carrier or crate. You may choose to personally purchase toys, treats, or any other miscellaneous items for your foster animal. If there are other specific supplies you believe you may need for your foster animal, please reach out to the foster coordinator.
If you decide you would like to adopt your foster pet, please alert your Lifesaving Coordinator right away. Since most pets being fostered are not immediately available for adoption, arrangements for adoption may need to be made at the end of the foster term. Once the animal is old enough or large enough, you will need to finalize the adoption with an adoption counselor during open shelter hours.
This mastiff-sized dog arrived weighing only 20 pounds. Even worse were the heartbreaking flinches that showed he’d been abused. Despite all of that, he yearned for love. Thanks to a kind-hearted foster, Lakota nearly doubled in weight, and his spirit soared. He went on to find a loving family that included another mastiff.
Open the door to endless possibilities. Together, we will create positive change within our community, help control the homeless animal population and improve the lives of pets and their families.
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