Are you interested in embarking on a life-changing journey by becoming a Kansas Humane Society foster parent to a pet?
A volunteer foster parent assists in the rehabilitation of an animal by providing in home care. The goal of the Foster Parent Volunteer is to help animals outside of the shelter environment who are underage, sick, injured, or under-socialized so that they may become healthy, adoptable animals.
Foster parents provide a clean, safe, loving environment for the animals in their homes. Our goal is to care for as many pets as possible in order to make them available for adoption. With the help of our dedicated volunteers, we're able to save thousands of lives every year.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Your involvement in our foster program will prepare animals for a full and healthy life! The Kansas Humane Society’s foster program provides a very rewarding experience for both the foster family and the lucky animal(s) involved. The goal of the foster program is to reduce euthanasia of potentially adoptable animals.
Sometimes when animals are brought into KHS they are malnourished, ill, or generally unprepared to be adopted to a new loving home. You can make a difference in these animals’ lives by becoming a foster parent and help to:
- Ensure that all puppies and kittens are old enough to be placed up for adoption,
- Help animals with no history become adoptable by learning about their personalities,
- Raise the standard of health in adoptable animals.
GETTING STARTED ON YOUR FOSTER JOURNEY
1) Watch the foster orientation video above to learn everything about the fostering process here at the Kansas Humane Society.
2) After you’ve completed the video, visit the Foster Keeper website to fill out your contact information and foster preferences.
3) You may also join our closed Facebook group to view animals seeking foster placement. (Note: If there are other animals on Facebook that are not posted in our Facebook group, those animals will not be available to foster out through our facility. Please contact the original poster for inquiry on those animals.)
4) If you are able to provide foster care, you should respond to the email/Facebook post for that animal as soon as possible.
5) When you agree to foster the animal, you will make an appointment with the foster care coordinator. You will meet with the foster care coordinator at the shelter to pick up the animal.
6) When you arrive at KHS, you will sign the foster care agreement and pick up the animal and any supplies you need to borrow. The foster care coordinator will explain any special instructions or medical instructions you will need.
7) While you are meeting with the foster care coordinator, the foster coordinator will make an appointment to bring the animal back for a re-check, booster shots, or return.
Your mission as Foster Parents is to help animals outside of the shelter environment who are underage, sick, or under-socialized so that they may become healthy, adoptable animals.
We can give you all of the supplies needed to care for foster animals. This includes food, litter, and medical care. If available we can also supply crates, toys, bedding, play pens and enrichment to keep your foster engaged.
Our Foster program can loan most supplies to our foster families, though all supplies come on a donation basis. We loan any supplies on hand, though these are common items you may need for your foster animals that we encourage you to have on hand if possible.
- Old blankets, towels, and other bedding items for the pet's comfort
- Food and water bowls
- An exercise pen/wire crate to contain the pet if there is not an isolated room
- A disinfectant cleaner to clean the kennel and other areas between and during foster animals
- Small scale that registers very small weights, such as grams (for daily kitten weights)
- Rectal thermometer and Vaseline or lubricant
- Canned pumpkin for loose stools
You will take animals to your home until the animal is deemed ready to be put up for adoption at the shelter. Reasons for foster care vary, but some of the common reasons we send animals to foster homes can be:
- Underage/weight puppies and kittens
- Shy or timid animals needing socialization work and TLC
- Animals recovering from illness (such as Kennel Cough or Upper Respiratory Infections)
- Animals with wounds or broken bones
- Mothers with litters
Our foster program is not meant for those wanting to "test drive" an animal before adopting - your role as a foster is to help multiple animals become healthy and adoptable.
You must be 18 years of age or older to volunteer independently, though fostering can be a wonderful way to involve the whole family! You must have the time and ability to work with your foster animal(s) and live within 1 hour of KHS. Your own pets should be spayed/neutered and fully vaccinated. It is ideal if you have a room or space in your home where the foster animals can be “isolated” from your own pets when necessary. You must also watch the KHS Foster Orientation video included on this page.
The average stay is two weeks but can vary depending on animals personalized needs. Below is an estimated time chart grouped for specific needs;
|TYPE OF FOSTER||DURATION||DAILY COMMITMENT|
|Sick/Injured Dogs||1 week-2 months||2-3 hours|
|Weaned Puppies||1-3 weeks||3-6 hours|
|Mom with Puppies||2-8 weeks||3 hours|
|Neonate Puppies||6-8 weeks||8 hours|
|Sick/Injured Cats||1 week-2 months||1-2 hours|
|Weaned Kittens||1-3 weeks||2 hours|
|Mom with Kittens||2-8 weeks||1-2 hours (or more)|
|Neonate Kittens||6-8 weeks||Up to 8 hours|
|Cats with URI||2-3 weeks||1-2 hours|
Before you bring home your foster(s), make sure that you have a suitable place for them to stay. A bathroom often works well. The room should adhere to the following guidelines:
- A space where temperature can be controlled.
- The space has been disinfected by using a mild bleach solution (1 part bleach to 32 parts water).
- Separate from other household pets.
- Can withstand messes, spilt water or food, vomit, urine, feces, etc.
- No breakable items.
- Electrical outlets and wires are blocked.
- No small items.
- Secured windows (closed or with a secure screen).
- Secured appliances (toilet lids closed).
Everything you will need to care for your foster will be provided free of charge including food, potty pads, and medical services. Check below for further tips on how to properly set up your new fosters environment.
- Dogs should be kept indoors in a crate when unattended or a separate room/office, kitchen, bathroom, spare room, or exercise pen.
- Puppies should be around humans for socialization purposes and should not be isolated.
- Dogs should be on a leash at all times when outdoors unless in a private secure fenced in area. Recommended fence height is six feet. Puppies younger than 5 months should NEVER go to off-leash areas because they are not fully vaccinated.
- Foster dog/puppies are not permitted to go to dog parks.
- Dog parks can be extremely dangerous environments; there are no lifeguards or professionals at a dog park when conflicts arise.
- Not every dog is safe.
- While dogs are social animals, they are individuals and do not like every dog they meet. Puppies should not be exposed to other dogs or places frequented by other dogs due to the risk of diseases such as parvovirus.
- Dogs have a variety of play styles and these play styles can be conflicting and instigate fights.
Remember that if you give the dog too much freedom in your home without adequate supervision, you will accidentally teach him bad habits, such as pottying in the house, chewing on inappropriate items, etc. If you are not able to have your eyes on the dog, make sure he is confined to his crate, exercise pen or other safe spot. If you are experiencing a lot of trouble with crating your foster dog please let the foster coordinator know.
Everything you will need to care for your foster will be provided free of charge including food, litter, and medical services. Check below for further tips on how to properly set up your new fosters environment.
- Indoors only (do not let your foster cat/kitten outdoors).
- A large crate, separate room or bathroom is best. Keeping at least one litterbox in crate/room at all times.
- Feed a dry food that is appropriate for its age. If the kittens are five weeks of age or younger, moisten the food with water or also offer kitten formula canned food. KHS will provide age-appropriate Science Diet food for your foster pet. If you find that your foster pet does not like the flavor of Science Diet, it will be very helpful if you can provide a tastier food for your foster cat/kitten!
- You can free feed for adults (2 meals a day if free feeding not optional.) For kittens, dry food may always be left out for free feeding. Wet food should be offered 3 to 4 times a day.
- Each kitten should have his own food bowl.
- Always have fresh water available for them.
- Use your favorite cat litter, clumping or clay. Scoop the boxes twice every day, and at the same time sweep up any litter that has collected on the floor around the boxes.
- Have toys available, and a scratching post.
- Kittens will need vaccinations every two weeks. You will arrange with the foster care coordinator for vaccinations.
- If you have kittens less than 4 months of age, weigh them on your kitchen scale every day. Keep a weight chart, and contact the foster care coordinator if the kittens aren’t gaining about .33 oz. each day.
Need more information about our program? Feel free to reach out to us at:
KHS FOSTER DEPARTMENT