Foster a Homeless Pet

How will you make a difference?

Foster a homeless pet




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If you have a place in your heart and home for animals—but you’re not prepared to adopt—consider fostering for The SPCA of Tennessee. Our foster care program lets animal lovers bring pets from shelters into their homes on a temporary basis to prepare them for adoption. We know it can sometimes be a challenging experience – in the love you invest, the commitment it takes, and, eventually, in saying goodbye to a pet that you’ve nurtured for an extended period of time. But know that what you do matters. Every pet that’s fostered has a better chance at a happier and healthier life ahead with a forever family.

What can you expect




Animals in need. As a foster parent, you may give a mother dog/cat and her kittens/puppies a place to live until they are old enough for the entire family to return to the shelter for adoption. You could 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. We might have sometimes animals that need your care, especially older animals who truly benefit by spending time away from the shelter before they find their forever homes.

Foster parents are responsible for traveling to and from the shelters for medical care and foster care appointments. The frequency of appointments varies depending on the reason an animal is being fostered. We are trying to put together supplies that a foster might need to start with. We provide food depending on the donations that we received. We are structuring our program to be more beneficial for everyone.




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Fostering may last anywhere from two weeks to several months, depending on the pet’s needs.





                                                                             Foster Homes




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Foster homes are a vital part of our organization that has a no kill philosophy and because we don’t have a facility at this time, good foster homes are always at a premium. Foster homes provide a valuable service, not only to temporarily house an animal, but also to assess any behavior issues, socialize, train and otherwise prepare an animal for adoption. It can be very rewarding to know that you have helped save an animal’s life.

The decision to become a foster home should be undertaken thoughtfully. It’s not always easy to take abused or neglected animals into your home, watch them blossom under your care and then let them go. People often become so attached to their foster pet that they can’t give them up. Good for the animal, but in the process our organization may lose a valuable resource.


Become a Foster Home



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Usually the animal’s needs are simple, but occasionally there may be more involved. Some animals could have health problems and require medication or special diets. An animal lacking in social skills must learn to be a companion. An animal that’s been abused or neglected for a long time has to trust again. These pets are given up or abandoned because their previous owner was unable or unwilling to provide the necessary time, training or care.

If you think you may be up to the challenge to change an animal’s life, please complete the foster application form. This information will enable us to place an animal in a home that best meets the animal’s needs and that is best suited to the time, schedule, lifestyle and talents of the foster family. We have plenty of animals in our program at this time and we will make sure we can place the appropriate animal in you household to be foster.The foster coordinator will contact you and you will be given as much information as known about the animal including any particular health or behavior problems.

Role of the Foster Family




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The foster family is expected to provide good quality food, exercise, socialization, a safe place to eat, sleep and play, and most of all, love. Although it’s a family affair, children should never be left alone with or made responsible for the care of a foster pet. Foster families are not expected to place the animal. Ideally, pre-approved potential adopters should be able to meet the animal at the foster home, although other arrangements can be made. The foster parent should observe the interaction and answer questions, and if there are any incidents that lead the foster parent to doubt the advisability of the match, it should be noted and reported to the foster coordinator. Foster families are encouraged to make recommendations but do not approve or deny an adoption.

Cost of Fostering


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How much you choose to spend on your foster pet is up to you. Some foster families want to assume full responsibility for care, but it’s certainly not a requirement. We can provide necessities like crates, litterboxes, toys, beds, etc. and food if needed. Generally, any medical care including testing, vaccinations, or worming will be done prior to placing the animal in foster care, except when not advisable due to age or condition. Additional veterinary care will be paid by TNSPCA and must be approved in advance by a foster coordinator, who will also schedule appointments. Foster families may be asked to transport an animal to the vet for spay/neuter surgery or other treatment.

Problems with a Foster Pet



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We do not abandon the foster family. If there is a problem, contact a foster coordinator for help or advice to work through the problem. If an animal bites or shows any sign of aggression we will remove the animal as soon as possible. Foster families are expected to maintain weekly contact with a foster coordinator and may be asked to keep a progress report.

If you and/or your family is interested in becoming a foster home/family, please contact us now.

The SPCA of Tennessee takes in as many dogs and cats from over-crowded animal shelters as long as we have foster homes or have the funding to board them for a short time to save their lives.

Animals at shelters have limited days after their stray hold (usually 4 – 6 days). Some shelters have 40 to to 400 dogs and cats, since shelters have to take in abandoned dogs and cats daily, they run out of cage space, therefore, the dog or cat that has been there days prior will be euthanized. It doesn’t matter if they are young puppies or kittens or pure breeds (about 30% are pure breeds).

Overpopulation of domestic animals forces local animal control agencies in Tennessee to euthanize dogs and cats every year. A cat or dog is killed in a local animals shelter every 63 second. Depending on the shelter and space, after their stray hold, some only have 1-2 days left, and some have 1-2 weeks to be adopted or they will be euthanize as well. If you can foster or adopt, think about sponsoring a dog or a cat given us the opportunity to given them a second chance.

Please don’t buy, Adopt and Save a Life.