FOSTER CARE FAQS
Absolutely, but proceed with caution! We recommend keeping them in separate areas for two weeks prior to introducing them. It is important to have a designated, easy to disinfect between animals, foster room (or bathroom) to quarantine your fosters. We do our best to send only healthy animals into foster homes but some illnesses can take up to two weeks to develop. We are unable to test for all diseases and some are easily transferrable. Older animals or pets with compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable. Wenatchee valley Humane Society will not be held responsible for the health of your resident pet.
You are responsible for housing the foster animal the entire duration of their care. It is wise to avoid taking on fosters if you know you have to be out of town in the upcoming weeks. Foster length varies, so communicate with the Foster Coordinator to determine if it is the right time for you to foster an animal. We do realize that emergencies can happen and, if you need to leave town suddenly, you can contact the Foster Coordinator to arrange a pet sitter.
As much as you possibly can! The more time you spend with your fosters, the more you help with their socialization. This is a very important part of the foster program, so it is vital that you do it. Depending on the kind of foster you have, plan to spend at least 1-4 hours, per day, with the animal.
Fostering can be hard work that comes with unexpected situations so it may not be right for everyone. If you become overwhelmed with fostering, it is okay to contact the Foster Coordinator so a new home can be arranged. We appreciate your effort and would love to have you continue to volunteer at WVHS in other ways.
The hard reality is that not all foster animals will survive and it is the discretion of WVHS staff to decide on medical treatment and humane euthanasia is an option if the animal is suffering. Overall, though, that is a very small percentage. Thanks to the dedication and care of volunteer fosters, most of the shelter animals in foster care thrive and live long, healthy lives.
Fostering is a great way to determine if your family is ready for the lifelong commitment of a pet. If you want to adopt your foster, you will go through the WVHS adoption process, including adoption fees (at regular price). The animal is not yours until after papers are signed, payment is made, and the animal has been spayed/neutered. Please understand that if you wish to continue fostering after adding a pet to your family you may need to wait until your new pet has gotten older or received all its vaccinations.
In most cases, it's best if the animal to return to the shelter when it is ready for adoption. We realize it can be hard to bring animals back, but it is the quickest way to find their forever home (which is the goal!) There are some exceptions to this, particularly under-socialized or shy animals that don’t do well in the shelter. As a foster, you are encouraged to advertise your animal and line up potential adopters. The animal must remain in your care or at the shelter until all paperwork, payment, and surgeries are complete.
Foster length is on a case by case basis. Most foster placement last at least two week, with kittens and puppies remain in foster until they are of weight for surgery. If you are not able to commit to a long foster, please let us know that prior to fostering so we can place animals with you that better fit your time commitment. Sick animals stay in foster until they are healthy enough to be adopted. Animals that are stressed in the shelter or need socialization may not come back to the shelter at all, staying in their foster home until adopted.
Some animals are sent to foster care with medication. When this happens it is the foster’s responsibility to ensure the animal is receiving the treatment. Most of the time, you will know beforehand if the animal will be sent with medication. However, illnesses can develop after the animal has left our facility and unexpected medication is required. Medicating is a very important task so volunteer fosters need to be comfortable with it prior to becoming a foster for an animal that requires medication.
Imagine your foster animal became deathly ill in the middle of the night- would you be able to immediately get your foster to the shelter or vet? If not, please consider volunteering for WVHS in a different capacity. Though rare, these things can and do happen and volunteer fosters need to be prepared.
Dr. Kyla Krissek is the Medical Director and onsite vet at WVHS. She is available to see foster animals by appointment, Monday-Friday, free of charge. If you choose to take a foster animal to another veterinarian, without prior authorization from WVHS staff, we will not reimburse you for those charges.
We have a very inclusive foster program and many different types of animals go to foster homes- cats, dogs, even small critters! You decide the kinds of animals you feel most comfortable fostering. We want you to enjoy your foster animals and have fun taking care of them!
No. Wenatchee Valley Humane Society provides all needed foster animal supplies. Keep in mind that we rely solely on donations, so it is very important that anything unused be returned. If you are able or would like to provide your own supplies, that is greatly appreciated!
Each morning, the Foster Coordinators review the animals that need to go to into foster care. They reach out to potential fosters based on what they think will be the best fit for both the foster and animal. It is common for a foster opportunity to be sent to multiple people at once. When this happens, we allow the first to respond to foster that animal so it is important to ensure Foster Coordinators knows the best way to reach you. Animals posted on the WVHS website as ‘available’, will most likely not be sent to foster care.
You can absolutely foster if you live outside of Wenatchee! We just ask that you are able to make it to our facility in a timely manner for foster pick ups and appointments. Depending on the vaccination status of the animal, most fosters need to return to the shelter every two weeks for revaccinations and exams.