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Foster Information

Do you have room in your heart and your home to foster a pregnant cat or dog, a newborn litter, young puppies or kittens?  How about the patience, love and understanding to nurture an adult animal back to health so he/she can have a second chance at life?

We are always looking for families to welcome special needs animals into their homes until they are ready to return to the shelter for permanent placement. Fostering an animal in need provides a unique learning opportunity for children and their families.

What is Foster Care?

Fostering is a great way to help our organization! Foster care families assist us by taking in one or more of our homeless animals and caring for them for them temporarily.  Cats or dogs are placed into foster care for one of several reasons, including:

  • Kittens or puppies that need to be bottlefed
  • Kittens or puppies that are too young to go up for adoption (less than 8 weeks of age)
  • Nursing mother dog or cat and their litter
  • Sick or injured dogs or cats that need time to heal in a less stressful environment
  • Dogs or cats that are overstressed in a shelter environment
  • Dogs or cats that are in need of rescue from local impounds but space is limited at our shelter

As a foster family, you can tell us what types of animals you feel comfortable working with.  If raising bottle kittens is your niche, we will contact you for assistance whenever we receive bottle-fed kittens. Or if you’d just rather help us out when we reach maximum capacity, we will contact you when the need arises.  You just tell us what types of situations or what type of animals you would like to help out with, and we will contact you when we can use your help.

Why is fostering so important?

Foster families assist our shelter in being able to rescue more pets from local impounds, thereby preventing the unnecessary euthanization of healthy cats and dogs.  And in some instances, it is a safer and healthier option, especially for young kittens and puppies whose immune systems are more likely to be affected by common ailments found in animal shelters. Fostering also means refuge for those dogs and cats that become overly stressed in a shelter environment. Regardless of why you decide to foster, we can assure you that it is a rewarding experience and that every foster family truly is a lifesaver!

Does it cost anything?

Homeward Animal Shelter foster families do not have to pay for anything when fostering a pet(s).  This is a no-cost-to-you arrangement, and all supplies, food and vet care will be paid for by the Homeward Animal Shelter. Some foster families do decide they would like to buy their foster pet toys or treats, however, this is by no means expected. 

How long will I have the pet in my home?

The time you care for a foster pet may vary, depending on the reason the pet is in foster care.  Kittens or puppies too young to go up for adoption will need to be fostered until they are 8 weeks old.  Injured or sick animals will need to be cared for until they are deemed healthy again.  Pets that are overly stressed in a shelter environment will need to be fostered until they are adopted, which can be anything from a few days to a few months.  However, if at any time you can no longer foster a pet or the pet is not working out in your home, you are encouraged to contact shelter staff to discuss bringing the pet back to the shelter as soon as possible.

What if I decide to adopt my foster pet?

This is a common occurence in the animal rescue world.  In the event that you decide to make your foster pet a permanent member of your family, we will have you fill out an adoption application and proceed through the same process as other adopters.  The only request that we have is that if you do decide to adopt your foster pet, please notify us as soon as possible, so we can remove your foster pet from the available pet list.

How do I become a foster family?

To become a foster family, please fill out a Foster Family Application.  Once we have received your completed foster family application, we will process it within 2-3 business days and notify you of the status of your application.  Once you become a foster family, we will contact you whenever we can use your help. 

If you have any questions in regards to becoming a foster family or the status of your completed foster family application, please email us at or call us at 701-239-0077.

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