What is Foster Care
Foster families open their hearts and homes to animals who are in need of temporary care outside of the shelter environment until they are ready to come back and be placed up for adoption. These compassionate people play a vital role in the life of that animal and help to ensure successful adoptions. In short, foster families save lives.
See firsthand what fostering is like by reading this blog: Foster Fun with Dr. Newbury
Who needs foster care?
Many of our cats, dogs, and critters can benefit from foster care for a number of different reasons. These include:
- Animals in need of socialization or behavior modification
- Animals too young to go up for adoption
- Pregnant or brand new moms in need of a safe place to raise and wean their litter
- Animals in need of relief from the stress of shelter life
- Animals in need of a quiet and safe home to be treated for or recover from illness/injury
No matter what the reason, these animals need lots of love and extra attention to get them to the point where they can find their fur-ever home! We are ALWAYS in need of new foster homes!
BECOMING A FOSTER FAMILY
Step 1: Fill out our Companion Animal Foster Application.
All foster families must first submit a Companion Foster Application - FILLABLE, it's now a writeable PDF! Print when complete, sign and initial page 3 before submitting.
Step 2: Attend a VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION for new volunteers.
At an orientation, you will be taken on a tour of the shelter to get an insider's look into the many efforts that go into animal care at Dane County Humane Society. You'll also learn more about our programs and policies so you can start your volunteer work equipped with the information you need to successfully contribute to our mission.
At the end of the orientation, if you decide we are the right fit for you, we will collect a $20 volunteer fee for each individual who will be volunteering with us, which includes both adult and youth volunteers. The $20 fee is for administrative processing and materials/supplies necessary for your orientation and training as a volunteer at DCHS. This fee helps to ensure that the vast majority of our funding is spent directly on animal welfare. You will receive an I.D. name badge, an official DCHS volunteer t-shirt, a DCHS folder for your orientation, and role-specific training packets. The packets include DCHS staff contact information and shelter hours for your reference. Financial hardship scholarships may be available on a case-by-case basis. In addition, if you would like to become a new DCHS member for an additional $35 you will receive $5 off of the volunteer fee – only $50 for your volunteer materials and a DCHS membership! (We are unable to offer a scholarship for or reduction of membership fees).
Step 3: Attend TRAINING for your foster family position.
You will meet with a designated staff member or volunteer of the Foster Care Team who will train you in your new role and finalize your volunteer schedule.
After these three steps are completed, you're ready to foster! Please be aware that this process can take up to a month, depending on timing, position desired and other factors, so we appreciate your patience and hope that your commitment to volunteering remains strong. Thank you for your interest in becoming part of our volunteer team!
MORE INFORMATION ON FOSTER CARE
Foster parents are asked to provide food, supplies (treats, toys, litter, bedding), and transportation for their foster animals. Any needed medication, prescription food or health care will be provided by Dane County Humane Society.
The length of stay in foster care can vary from a few weeks to several months, depending on the animal's specific needs. Homes that are able to take fosters on a consistent basis help out the most, but even homes that can take only a couple fosters a year can be a big help for the shelter's special needs animals.
Additional foster opportunity
The SAAV Program is a unique foster opportunity. Foster parents are asked to confidentially foster the animals of domestic abuse victims. By offering foster care, foster parents increase the chances that a victim will seek help without fear of leaving her animals behind. SAAV’s shelter services are provided to victims in Dane County who are receiving services from DAIS at the time of intake into our program. SAAV also provides nationwide community education regarding the link between domestic abuse and animal cruelty. Please fill out this additional form if you would like to participate with our SAAV Program. SAAV Foster Application
For more information on either foster opportunities, please contact the Foster Care Team. Fax, mail or email your application, marked “Attn: Foster Team”
Foster Care Team