Our foster care program allows private residents to provide temporary, loving homes to shelter animals.
This program allows homeless animals to heal from injuries or illness, give birth, gain greater socialization, and become more adoptable. Many animals can benefit greatly by being placed in a loving foster home as they await a new permanent home. WCHS relies on volunteers to foster many small kittens and puppies to allow them to mature.
If you are interested in helping animals but cannot adopt, fostering may be a great opportunity for you!
Foster care guidelines
- Fostering can be as short as one evening or as long as several weeks. Please consider the commitment you are able to make.
- WCHS does not knowingly send an animal to foster care that is aggressive towards people or other animals. If you see any indication of aggression, please contact the shelter ASAP.
- Foster caregivers must understand that there is the risk of transmission of disease from the foster animal to other pets in the home. The shelter staff will do its best to assure that only animals without transmissible diseases are placed in foster care. The staff will instruct the foster parent regarding the possibility of contagious diseases prior to placing the animal.
- When fostering a mother and her litter, the mother MUST remain with her litter for their entire stay in foster care. All animals will be returned to the shelter at the same time unless there is a medical reason for separation.
- All animals will be checked for parasites (e.g., fleas, ticks, and intestinal parasites) and bathed if needed prior to leaving the shelter. All animals must be kept free of parasites due to the debilitating nature of such pests. If any animal is found to have parasites after entering foster care, it must be bathed by the foster caregiver or returned to the shelter.
- All foster animals will be wormed and vaccinated at appropriate intervals to ensure their continued health. It is up to the foster caregiver to bring the animals to the shelter for check-ups, vaccinations, and worming as needed.
- Foster animals remain the property of the Whitman County Humane Society, Inc., regardless of the length of stay in the caregiver’s home. If any WCHS staff member requests that the animal be returned, the foster caregiver must do so as soon as possible. Normally, the staff will provide the caregiver with a return date prior to placing the pet into the caregiver’s home.
- No animal is to be adopted from a foster home without proper permission from shelter staff. All animals from WCHS MUST be spayed or neutered before being adopted.
Call WCHS first if an animal in foster care becomes ill before taking any action on your own to provide treatment. The staff will arrange an appointment with the WCHS contract veterinarian. If you take the animal to a veterinarian for treatment without consulting WCHS, you will be responsible for payment. Each foster home will be furnished with telephone numbers to contact in the event of an emergency.