What is a Foster Home?
A foster home is a temporary living situation for pets while they are awaiting placement in a permanent home or to move to one of our partnership organizations. Foster families provide shelter, food, care and love. If you’re looking for the companionship of a pet without a long term commitment or looking for a way to volunteer from home – consider becoming a foster parent!
How Long Can I Expect to Foster a Pet?
Fosters will keep animals an average of 4-6 weeks unless it is medically or behaviorally indicated otherwise. Some pets need more time, some need less. You will be told up-front before you agree to foster the pet how long of a commitment we believe it will be and we can match you with a pet that meets your availability! No matter what length of commitment you’re looking for, we can find a match for you!
What are the Responsibilities of a Foster Family?
- Provide a safe, clean, caring environment
- Provide food, water, litter, toys/enrichment, and shelter
- Provide exercise and socialization as appropriate
- Monitor any medical and/or behavioral problems
- Transport to/from offsite adoption events as needed
- Upon receiving your foster pet, it is necessary that you isolate them from other animals in the home for a minimum of 10-14 days. This isolation is especially important for cats and bottle baby kittens.
MAS will provide supplies such as food, kennels, etc., as supplies are available. MAS provides all basic medical care for foster pets, and care beyond the basics as resources allow.
What animals are available to foster through MAS?
- Adult Dogs: Any dog that is legally City of Memphis property and does not have behavior issues is eligible for foster.
- Kittens & Puppies: Some are orphaned and need to be bottle fed, while others are weaned but need to reach 2 lbs. before they can be spayed/neutered and adopted. Others are newborns still with their moms, and the whole family needs a safe, quiet place to stay for Mom to raise and nurse her babies.
- Pets recovering from illness: Some pets need a quiet place to recovery from injury or illness such as upper respiratory infections, ringworm, wounds, etc. Pets will be sent home with meds as needed.
- Transport pets: Short term foster homes are needing for pets that are awaiting transport to one of our out of town rescue partners. These pets usually need a foster home for 1-4 weeks before transport.
Can I adopt my foster animal?
Excluding our foster pets involved in the transport program, you may adopt your foster pets! But first, you’ll need to set up an appointment to bring your foster animal to Spay Memphis or Memphis Animal Services to be spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped before official adoption. After completing the adoption paperwork and process, you’ll be free to take your new pet home with the adoption fee waived. You will know upfront whether it’s possible to adopt your foster pet through Memphis Animal Services.
I work during the day, can I still be a foster parent?
Absolutely! You can foster weaned puppies and kittens, mothers with litters, or adult pets that do not need around-the-clock care.
How do I become involved?
It’s easy! Fill out our foster application online and someone will contact you for next steps.
Or, make an appointment (email email@example.com) or stop by the shelter to meet pets available for foster! Appointments are not required, but they are encouraged to ensure your time visiting. To visit without an appointment, you can walk in daily from 12-4pm or until 7pm Tuesdays/Thursdays. If we are not at capacity for visitors at that time, we will be happy to welcome you into the shelter.
If fostering for MAS doesn’t sound like the right fit for you, click here to learn more about fostering for one of MAS’s Pet Placement Partners! Most of the rescue groups we work with are foster-based and aren’t able to save pets from the shelter without foster homes!