Become A Foster Care Volunteer

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Foster Care Volunteers open their hearts and homes to special-needs animals, such as nursing cats and kittens or animals recovering from surgery. Foster Care provides animals with the safe, loving environment they need to grow strong while freeing up space in our shelter so we can help even more animals that are in need of immediate care.

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Foster Care: Frequently Asked Questions

What is fostering?

What types of animals are fostered?

What if I already have pets of my own?

What if I work?

Can I choose what type of animal that I want to foster?

Time commitment

What does it cost?

Other things to consider

Requirements to become a foster volunteer

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What is fostering?

A volunteer foster parent temporarily helps care for one or more shelter pets in their home until the animals are ready for adoption. The Lawrence Humane Society provides all supplies, food and veterinary care. You provide a clean, safe, loving environment for homeless pets and help them prepare to find a new forever home.

What types of animals are fostered?

Animals who are not ready for adoption for any reason will be candidates for foster care. Our most common foster is a mother cat and her unweaned kittens or kittens 4-8 weeks of age that need to gain weight. You may be asked to care for a cat with an upper respiratory infection until he feels better, or help rehabilitate a dog with a broken leg that is healing from surgery. We may also ask you to foster animals that need socialization and are not thriving in the shelter environment.

What if I already have pets of my own?

Most of our foster parents do already have pets of their own. We will help you evaluate your ability to care for foster animals alongside your own pets.

What if I work?

Most animals, once adopted, will reside with people that have working schedules, and becoming accustomed to these routines in a foster home can make that animal much more adoptable.

Can I choose what type of animal that I want to foster?

Absolutely! Our goal is to match you with an animal that you feel comfortable with and enjoy. It does not benefit you or the animal if you feel overwhelmed. We will contact you only when that type of animal is available. You can always let the coordinator know if you want to try something different!

Time commitment

Depending on each animal’s needs, foster animal stays may be anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months or more. When matching you with an animal, we will consider the individual needs of the pet and your experience, preference and availability. Once you become a foster volunteer, we ask that you try to foster at least once every six months. We foster year round, but we tend to have the greatest need from April-October, when we receive most of our kittens.

 What Does It Cost?

The Lawrence Humane Society provides all food, veterinary care and supplies for your foster pets.

Other things to consider

Since most foster animals have limited immunity, it is best to keep them physically separated from your own pets (preferably in a different room), at least at first. 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.

Requirements to become a foster volunteer

Please email foster@lawrencehumane.org to become a foster care volunteer with Lawrence Humane Society.