Thank you for your interest in our foster program! By selflessly opening up your heart and home to a homeless cat or kitten, you are giving them a second chance in life, providing young and old, injured and sick, abused and under socialized cats a chance to grow or heal before finding their forever homes. In addition, fostering helps create space in the shelter to accommodate other homeless cats. And better yet, it won’t cost you a thing! Happy Endings will provide all the necessities. You provide love and socialization.
Cats In Need Of Foster Homes
- Young or neo-natal orphans (1-10 weeks old; Bottle feeding may be required.)
- Pregnant females
- Mother with kittens under 10 weeks of age
- Kittens/cats recovering from injury/surgery (Medicating or physical therapy may be required.)
- Kittens/cats in need of socialization
- Elderly or Ill cats requiring long-term care (diabetes, thyroid, IBD, etc. Medicating may be required.)
- Terminally ill cats that are currently content (cancer, organ failure, etc. Medicating may be required.)
- FIV or FeLV diagnosed cats
- Any cat when the shelter becomes full
Responsibilities of a Foster Parent
- Provide a peaceful, loving and indoor only environment with clean water and food for the foster companion and spend quality time loving and socializing them.
- Provide a separate room to isolate the foster companion for a minimum of five (5) days to prevent the spread of potential illness. (A bathroom or bedroom works wonderfully for this as is the use of a cage that can be provided.)
- Provide transportation (using own vehicle, family member or taxi) to the Happy Endings shelter or our selected veterinarians for examinations, vaccinations, etc. if necessary or in case of emergency.
- Be patient, as well as be willing to nurse any injury and/or illness with the understanding that some companions will not recover from their injuries or illness.
- Complete a foster care application and foster care contract.
- Provide regular updates on the status of your foster companion.
- Are 21 years of age or older.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How long are cats in foster care?
A. It is difficult to predict how long a foster companion will be in your care. The length of stay will depend on space at the shelter, on how well socialization is progressing, on how long it takes for a sick or injured cat to get well, or on the age and development of kittens. Your commitment to a particular companion may range from a couple of weeks to a couple of months or even years.
Q. Can I adopt my foster cat(s)?
A. CERTAINLY! Foster parents always have first choice to adopt their foster cat(s).
Q. How are foster cats promoted?
A. Each foster cat’s photos and bio are posted for public viewing on our website via www.Petfinder.com and www.AdoptaPet.com. They are also promoted at our various events throughout the year via adoptable slideshows. Foster parents may participate in events and open houses to help increase visibility of their foster cat to potential adopters. They can also promote their foster cat(s) through word of mouth, e-mail, social networking sites and flyers.
Q. I live in an apartment, condo or town home. Can I still foster?
A. Yes, you can still foster an animal living in a small environment. Many of our cats need one-on-one socialization, so a small space can be beneficial. However, it’s important that you select an appropriate animal for your lifestyle and are willing to commit to providing your foster animal with the needed physical and mental stimulation. And of course, you still need landlord approval and must abide by any restrictions.
Q. If I have my own animals, can I still foster?
A. Of course you can! But keep in mind that there is always a health risk when bringing in foster companions. Many of the cats we receive are strays with little to no background information which means their health/temperament can never be 100% guaranteed. The health risks to your pets can be greatly reduced by keeping their vaccinations current while maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet. In any case, we will provide deworming and flea treatment (Depending on age), vaccinations (8 weeks and older) and FIV/FeLV combo tests (10 weeks or older) to all foster companions.
If you or someone in your household is immune-compromised, consult your doctor before fostering since working or living with animals can expose humans to certain zoonotic diseases.
Q. What if my foster companion doesn’t get along with my own animals?
A. Cats hate change. That is a well-known fact. However, with a little patience and TLC, many animals adapt to their new situations with ease. But that doesn’t mean it will happen instantly. This is why we require that all foster companions be isolated in a separate room for a minimum of five (5) days. It may take even longer depending on each animal’s personality, but introducing them correctly should eliminate many problems. If you are having any problems any time after the 5 day isolation hold, please contact us so we can better help alleviate the situation.
Q. Do I need to have prior medical knowledge or expertise?
A. It’s always good to know the basics but it’s not mandatory. However, in certain situations you may be asked to dispense medications to your foster companion which means you will have to be comfortable following veterinarian’s instructions if fostering a sick or injured animal.
Q. What if my foster companion becomes sick?
A. Happy Endings will determine appropriate medical treatment for the foster companion and will provide medications/treatment for treating upper respiratory infections, intestinal parasites, fleas or other injuries. All veterinary costs will be covered by Happy Endings. You will be given contact information and instructions to follow should your foster companion become sick.
Q. Can my foster companion go outside?
A. No. Under no circumstances can a foster companion be allowed outside. Indoor cats live a much longer, more enjoyable and healthier life than those that are outside. There are simply too many risks associated with allowing cats to roam outdoors. For more information see The Indoor Pets Initiative http://indoorpet.osu.edu/
Q. Can I return my foster animal to the shelter if I am unable to foster any longer?
A. Yes, but we prefer that foster parents continue to foster until the cat is ready to be returned to the shelter or until we find a permanent home for them. However, we understand that situations change and it may become necessary to discontinue fostering an animal.
We request that a foster parent provides as much notice as possible (minimum 2-4 weeks) so that we can find an alternative foster home. Of course, in an emergency a foster parent may always bring their animal back to the shelter.
Again, thank you for your interest in fostering! If you have any more questions, please contact us via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. With your help we can give a second (or third!) chance for a forever home to many homeless cats and kittens. Foster a fur ball, save a life!
Interested in getting the process started? GREAT! Fill out our foster application!