Frequently Asked Questions About Fostering
What is a foster home?
A foster home is a temporary living situation for pets in our program while they are awaiting placement in a permanent home, undergoing medical recovery, or often until they are old enough and healthy enough to meet our adoption program requirements. We provide fosters with food and essential supplies for the care of the animal and in return, foster families are expected to provide them with shelter, care and love. The number of animals we can save depends entirely on the number of people who open their homes and hearts to foster them.
How does the program work?
The shelter staff is responsible for determining which shelter pets are most in need of foster care. As an approved foster parent, you will receive communications from the foster coordinator providing a brief description of the animals needing foster homes. When you see a pet that might be a good match for your household and lifestyle, please let the foster coordinator know. A shelter staff member will contact you to provide more information and determine if the pet is a good match. They will also arrange a meeting between you and the animal in need. Those seeking to foster a dog or puppy and currently have a dog residing in the home, must also plan to have their current dog(s) meet the potential foster dog/puppy with one of our kennel staff in order to verify compatibility. Macomb County Animal Control will provide all the necessary supplies for fostering, support you through the entire process, and will be available to address any questions or concerns.
What are the requirements?
- Primary foster care givers must be at least 18 years of age.
- You must be the owner of your home or be able to provide a pet addendum for your residence showing that you are allowed to have pets and any breed restrictions.
- Fosters must complete a foster application and be approved before becoming a foster parent.
- Foster parents must attend a foster orientation and training session.
- Fosters must agree and sign the Foster Parent Agreement and Liability Release contract.
- Foster parents that currently have a dog residing in their home must complete a dog-to-dog with their dog(s) and the potential foster dog before being allowed to begin their foster term.
How long should I expect to foster?
Fosters will keep animals an average of 2 weeks unless it is medically or behaviorally indicated otherwise. Some pets need more time because of age, illness, injury, or behavior issues. You will be told up-front before you agree to foster the pet how long of a commitment we believe it will be. There is no set requirement on a foster term and you are not expected to foster longer than you are capable of doing so.
What are the responsibilities of a foster family?
- Provide a safe, clean, caring environment
- Provide exercise and socialization as appropriate
- Monitor any medical and/or behavioral problems
- Transport to/from any necessary vet appointments
- Transport to/from offsite adoption events
Which animals are in need of foster homes?
- Puppies and kittens too young and/or immature to be adopted
- Animals that require more socialization than available at the shelter
- Older or senior pets that would be more comfortable in a home environment
- Injured animals and/or those recovering from surgery
- Neglected or abused pets that need tender loving care
- Dogs suffering from “shelter stress” in need of a calming home environment
- Pets with colds or special medical needs
- Mother dogs/cats with litters
- Animals in need when the shelter becomes overcrowded