foster paw-rent

What is a Foster Paw-rent?

May is National Foster Care Month, and we would like to take a few minutes to acknowledge all of the foster paw-rents! Not only are there “in-home” foster paw-rents, but we need to send grace and thanks to the foster care programs and the volunteers that help.

As we all know, rescues and shelters are overcrowded. With the help of a foster paw-rent, animals that would otherwise be euthanized, are saved by a foster family willing to temporarily take them into their home.

Foster homes are also an excellent option for animals with special needs, nursing mothers and their babies, and animals needing a quiet space to heal from injury or illness. Fostering is a unique and rewarding experience. It’s a wonderful opportunity to change an animal’s life for the better by caring for them in your own home!

Foster Care - What is it?

Foster homes provide a calm and safe place for animals to go without the stress of other animals being around. Every situation is different. Some animals are too young to be spayed or neutered, so they cannot yet be adopted, and they need a safe and warm place to reach the ideal size/age. Another reason for foster care is because shelters are not always the best place for raising babies. Foster homes are a comfortable place for puppies and kittens that are still nursing from their mothers. Additionally, animals that are injured or sick need a warm, quiet place to recover.

Benefits of Pet Foster Care

Pet foster care helps resolve the overcrowding rescues and shelters by providing some of the animals with a temporary refuge in a loving home until they find a new fur-ever home. It also helps prepare them for their adoption by allowing them to better adapt to home life, recover from past trauma, and fully express their personality.

• Helps Save Lives

Every foster pet is another life saved! Because of the  overcrowding in the shelters, many animals will have to be euthanized. By fostering a pet, a spot has opened up in the shelter for another animal in need.

• Health

Just like us, pets need a proper diet and plenty of exercise to keep healthy. Compared to a shelter, a foster home offers more room for pets to stretch their paws and keep themselves active. Pets are also likely to offer far more diversity in food items, helping ensure they get proper nutrition.

Giving pets daily supplements helps prevent joint, skin, and heart diseases. Salmon oil for dogs contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for pets in a number of ways, including the promotion of healthy growth and development, the reduction of inflammation, and the improvement of skin and coat.

• Improves the Chances of Them Being Adopted

Foster homes are more relaxed than a shelter and offer a nurturing environment for pets to be more like themselves. This gives the potential adopters a better sense of how the animal will behave at their home.

Is Pet Foster Care for You?

Husky playing with owner

If you are considering being a pet foster parent, there are many things you need to know and consider. Every shelter and foster care program has its own set of policies and procedures for fostering, so be sure to reach out to the coordinator to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Most foster programs have requirements that need to be met for you to be considered. Some programs require that you are at least 18 years or older and live in the shelter’s area. You will then be asked to fill out an application, complete a background check, and attend a foster care program training. If not most, foster programs will also want to conduct a home visit before accepting your application. They will require that a foster parent’s current pets are up-to-date on their vaccinations before you can bring home another animal.

How to Prepare for Your Foster Pet

If you decide that you are ready to foster, it is time to prepare your home for a new animal. Most shelters will provide food, medication, kennels, toys, and other essential supplies that you will need. Shelters will also likely recommend a vet to work within the case of an emergency at no charge to you. Connect with your foster care coordinator to determine what will be provided for you and what supplies you may need to pick up on your own. Below are a few suggestions of what to purchase:

Cat inside a crate


  • Litter box
  • Litter scoop
  • Food/water
  • Food and water bowls
  • Toys
  • Cat bed
  • Blankets
  • Scale- not critical but can help monitor a small animal’s weight gain success.


Cat's needs and wants


  • Leash
  • Collar
  • Waste bags
  • Food/water
  • Food and water bowls
  • Toys
  • Dog Bed
  • Blankets
  • Scale- not critical but can help monitor a small animal’s weight gain success.

Last and not least, make sure you will be emotionally prepared to return the animal after the foster period is over. It can be hard to give an animal back after fostering and creating an emotional bond. Prepare yourself for the potential heartache when giving the animal back, but remember, he or she is now so much more likely to find a forever home due to the love and care you provided.