The Humane Society of Cabarrus County (HSOC) has created a Foster Program as a special way to help our cats and dogs that are waiting to find their forever homes. You will notice that several of the dogs and cats on our available pets page are listed as being in "foster care."
If you want to know more about what this means, or you are looking for a great way to volunteer and help out, please read through the Frequently Asked Questions below to learn more.
1.What is a "Foster" dog/cat? What is a "Foster" parent?
A Foster animal is a dog or a cat that is available for adoption through HSOC and is currently living in a home with a foster parent or family instead of living at the shelter. A foster parent is a volunteer who cares for the foster dog or cat in their own home while helping to find a forever home for them.
2. What types of animals are in foster care?
Some of the animals in foster care are puppies or kittens that came to the Humane Society at a young age. Some are animals that have been at the shelter for a while and have moved into foster care so that they can work on manners and house training and get ready to live with their forever family when that family comes along! Some of the animals in foster care were sick and required special care before they were ready to be adopted (all of the pets who are available are medically cleared before being made available for adoption). There are other circumstances under which a dog or cat may be in foster care as well.
3. What types of things does a foster parent do?
A foster parent/family:
feed and care for the pet in their home
helps to socialize their foster pet with people (and sometimes other dogs or cats)
works on basic house training and manners
brings their pet to "adoption events" to meet people who are interested in adopting a pet
gets to know the dog or cat very well and can tell a potential adopter about them to help make a good match
4. How do I become a foster parent?
Fostering is a great way to help dogs and cats - We are always looking for new foster families! You can contact the Humane Society of Cabarrus County or come by during the hours our shelters are open to fill out a foster application and learn more about fostering. If you decide to foster, HSOC will talk to you more about what type of animals are a good fit for you to foster and can help match you with a foster dog or cat that needs your help.
5.What are my responsibilities as a foster parent?
We ask that you give your foster lots and lots of love! You are responsible for the day to day care of the pet. HSOC provides food, and veterinary care if needed. We will also provide any medicines the pet needs if they require medicine. We ask that our foster families work on basic housetraining, socialization, and manners. We also ask that our foster families bring their foster pets out to some of our adoption events to "meet and greet" potential adopters as well as be available to bring the dog or cat to one of our shelters to meet potential adopters who make an appointment to see the pet.
6. How long do I need to foster my dog/cat?
Many of the dogs and cats in foster care benefit from remaining in foster care until they are adopted. This timeline can vary, sometimes a few weeks or a few months. There are lots of things you can do to help the process along. Bringing your foster pet out to adoption events and providing great pictures and an up-to-date description for the HSOC website can help your foster pet find their forever home. There are also times when HSOC needs shorter term foster care for a dog, cat, kitten, or puppy.
7. Isn't is hard to give up your foster to their new family?
It is true that you often get very attached to your foster pet - that is only natural. It can sometimes be hard to say goodbye when a foster pet gets adopted but most people who foster will tell you that it also feels very good to know you helped a dog or cat find their forever family. There is always another dog or cat who can benefit from fostering and would love your help!
8. What happens if I decide I want to adopt my foster dog/cat?
There are times when a foster parent decides they would like to adopt their foster dog or cat. If this happens, the adoption must be approved and the foster parent must complete the adoption process through HSOC.