Become a Foster Home
You may not be the animal's forever home, but you are an important resting stop to their growth, health, and well-being.
Do you have a love for animals? Are you interested in sharing your home with us by fostering baby kittens/puppies? What about time? Do you have the time to care for these precious babies?
Every year, Valley Animal Center rescues many kittens and puppies under eight weeks old. At this delicate age, they are not ready to be adopted but they also don't have an animal parent to take care of them.
During these vital eight weeks, we rely on your generosity to take on the responsibility of caring for these animals, especially during the warmer season when many kittens and puppies are born.
Our staff have also fostered and many continue to do so when they can. They say it's a very rewarding and special experience!
However, our staff is limited in numbers and we need your help. We can't do this without you.
By working together, we can provide the needed foster homes for our shelter animals so that later, they can be ready for their forever homes.
Which animals need foster care?
Our animal care staff is here for you!
Through our awesome supporters and donors, we are able to provide you with all the basic tools necessary to care for these animals.
When you foster, you will be given the direct contact of our foster coordinator and staff who will be there to assist you when needed.
We just need your time, dedication, and love.
Want to foster? Here's what you can expect:
Feed them every 2-3 hours (even at night, if needed)
Help them pee and poop
Train them to use the litterbox
Report progress and/or issues to Foster Coordinator
Maritza Lopez, or staff member Anjanette Mendoza
Depending on which animals you foster, your tasks and responsibilities may differ. It's important for you to be clear on the specific needs of your foster animals. Our animal care associate will inform you on more details.
(a little snippet of bottle baby kittens!)
We can't do this without you!
"It's a very rewarding experience. It may be a bitter sweet experience only because you have to give up your fosters but in the end, it was all worth it because without fosters we would not be able to save as many lives as we have.
You may feel like you aren't changing the world, but for that tiny creature, it means everything."
- Martiza, Cat Care Supervisor
Ready to foster?
If you would like to foster, please follow the instructions below:
- Fill out and submit the online Pre-Foster Application form
- After receiving your application, we will contact you to schedule a private orientation, 10-15 minutes, to help you be better informed and ready
IMPORTANT: If you decide to foster animals from Valley Animal Center, we require you to not foster for other organizations during the same time. Although all shelters have the goal of saving as many animals as possible, due to the risk of disease and cross contamination, Valley Animal Center ask that if you decide to foster for others, you do so after you have finished your commitment with us.
If you still have questions, read the FAQ for commonly asked questions, or, please reach out to our Foster Coordinator: [email protected]
Still have questions? Look through our FAQ!
Fostering can be a lot of work, and we understand you may feel unsure about if you will make a good foster home.
Our animals need someone who will be able to care for them and provide them with attention and love. Depending on the age of the foster animals, this may mean you will need to take care of them throughout the night.
But don't worry! We will only ever give you fosters that are appropriate for you and your living situation. If you're still uncertain, reach out to us at [email protected]
However, we do require that all your pets be spayed or neutered and be up to date on their vaccines. This is to not only protect the fosters, but your family pets as well.
If you are fostering an older dog, we need to do a meet and greet with your pets before approving the foster. This is to ensure that all of the dogs get along before sending them home together.
We always recommend keeping your pets separate from your fosters for the first few weeks to prevent any potential diseases from spreading.
Fostering periods are generally around 2-10 weeks.
The length of the foster period depends on what animals you are fostering. For example, you may foster "Baby Bottle" animals for 6-8 weeks, or you may foster "Slumber Party" animals for a few nights.
An animal care associate will be able to give you more specific details after seeing your application and the categories of animals you want to foster!
You can pick what categories of animals you would like to foster. If you only want to foster senior animals then on your application you would check the "Seniors" option.
Any other requests such as sex, color, or breed will not be acknowledged.
We prefer you to foster the whole litter when possible, but if we must split up the litter, then you must foster at least two kittens/puppies.
Kittens/puppies teach and learn from one another, whether it's how to use the litterbox, or how to playfully bite one another. A lone kitten/puppy does not thrive well.
By fostering at least two kittens/puppies, your kittens/puppies will be able to guide each other as they grow older.
It may seem daunting to take on two little ones, but in the long run, the animals turn out much healthier and more socialized.
Don't wait until you are out of supplies to contact us!
As soon as you notice you are running low on supplies, please let the coordinator know! Sometimes we don't have enough supplies for same day pickup.
By letting us know in advance, this will ensure us a few days to get more supplies ready for you.
NOTE: All supplies such as heating pads, play pens and incubators must be returned at the end of the fostering period.
Our animal care associates are here for you!
If anything occurs that you are uncertain about, don't hesitate to contact us by email or text/call our Foster Care Coordinators at the numbers they provided you during your private orientation.
If it is an emergency and your foster animal needs immediate attention, contact our Foster Care Coordinator and bring your animal to the correct care facility.
If you need to return a foster animal before the end of the agreed upon foster period, contact us and allow us at least 72 hours to find another foster home for the animal.
If you fall in love with your foster animal(s) and would like to adopt them, you will be given first adoption rights.
However, you must still submit an adoption application and it will still need to be reviewed for approval/denial by our adoption care staff.
There are no waived or reduced fees if you decide to adopt your foster(s).
Note: While it is tempting to adopt your first or subsequent foster animal(s), you help us so much more by continuing to foster new animals rather than adopting and then ceasing to foster.
The more you foster, the more experienced and trained you become and we never seem to have enough trained caregivers. Gaining a foster caregiver who continues to foster new animals increases the resources available to animals in our care.
You may not be our animal's forever home, but you are an important resting stop to their growth, health, and well-being.
We cannot thank you enough!
Thank you so much for wanting to help us even if you decide you can't foster at the moment!
Our fostering program is always in need of donations and supplies. You can help us by purchasing items from our Amazon Wish List, or making a donation.
These donations and supplies goes right back to our animals and the foster homes they enter.