IMPORTANT NOTE: IF YOU FOSTER A PET AND IT DOES NOT WORK OUT, YOU MUST RETURN THE DOG/CAT TO THE SPCA OF TN ONLY AND NOT FOSTER AND/OR GIVE THE DOG/CAT IN TO A RESCUE OR TO ANOTHER PERSON.
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.
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 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. We provide food depending on the donations we receive. We are structuring our program to be more beneficial for everyone.
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.
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.
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, litter boxes, 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 TN SPCA 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.