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Foster A Pet!

Read all about how you can help a homeless animal and open up space at the shelter!

About Fostering

Foster Care Saves Hundreds of Lives Each Year!

Open your home and heart to a foster pet and give one of our most vulnerable animals a second chance. Animals in our foster program range from only a few days old to some of our most senior pets. Typically, animals that need a foster the most are abandoned litters of puppies and kittens, shy adult cats, animals recovering from medical procedures, and neglected or abused pets who need help coming out of their shells. 

We Provide:

  • All necessary veterinary care for animals in our foster program, including medications, vaccinations and medical care

  • Plenty of support from staff and volunteers

  • Supplies that are necessary based on the animal you are fostering.  Dry food, canned food, formula, bottles, litter, litter box, puppy pads, kennels, newspaper, blankets/towels, pet taxis, leash, collar, etc. Some items are provided when available like playpens, kitchen scales, heating pads, nebulizers, baby wipes, toys, scratch posts to name a few. If you need something not listed, just ask! 

You Provide:

  • Your time and space in your home

  • Lots of love and care

Foster parents must be available to pick up and drop off the pet at HES as needed and bring animals back for placement in a forever home when the time is right. 

Watch our foster coordinator and foster families talk about the foster process and what it means to them!

  • What are your vaccine and quarantine protocols?
    All underage animals at HES are on a two-week vaccine cycle until they are 20 weeks of age since the shelter environment can expose them to a high number of diseases. We cannot give a vaccine before the two week period so please plan accordingly with scheduling vaccine appointments. Spending time in foster before they are available ensures they are healthy before adoption. Foster kittens/puppies should be separated from resident pets for at least two weeks
  • Do my resident animals need to be up to date on their vaccines?
    For the safety, and well-being of your resident animals and our foster animals, we encourage you to talk to your vet about vaccine recommendations for your family pets. The shelter animals you are fostering are at high risk for disease and you do not want to put your pets in danger.
  • What if I have to leave town and my fosters are too small/scared to return to the shelter?
    We understand that things come up that require you to leave town before your foster kittens are ready to be returned. If this happens, you can fill out the foster relief form located at in the important form section so that we can be notified and start working on a replacement foster situation. You can opt to take the animals back when you have returned. Please try to give us at least a week notice, although we know that is not always possible in emergency situations.
  • What are surgery drop off instructions?
    Adult animals must have food and water withheld after midnight the night before surgery. Puppies and kittens can have a half meal the morning of surgery. Animals can be dropped off the day before surgery 8 am-5 pm or the morning of surgery, between 7:15-8:00 am to the back door.
  • Can my foster pet go outside?
    Adult dogs may go outside supervised. Dogs are not allowed to be left unattended outside. Cats and kittens are not allowed to go outside. Puppies can go in the grass after TWO dhpp vaccines unless you are in an apartment setting, then they need to stay indoors.
  • What if I get too attached?
    Remind yourself that "good-bye is the goal". If you adopt will it alter your ability to foster? Sometimes they are meant to be a part of your family, but if you cannot any more pets then you have to make the decision that is best for you. You can save hundreds by fostering. Watch this kitten lady video :
  • Do I have to have potential adopters come to my home?
    We encourage you to have appointments at the shelter unless you feel comfortable with potential adopters coming to your home. If you are fostering an adult dog and the potential adopter has a dog, please schedule a meet and greet at the shelter.
  • What if I have an emergency after hours?
    We have a foster team member on call 24/7 so please call right away in the event of an emergency. We have emergency clinic that we collaborate with and can send you to with your foster pet

Why Foster? 

Read about current foster experiences below!

"My family and I foster for many reasons, not the least of which is our ginormous love for animals. But what struck us immediately was how invaluable the experience has been for our three kids, who range in age from five to ten. They learn the importance of kindness and compassion and what it means to have a deep, abiding respect for all creatures, big and small. Aside from those very important things, they learn how rewarding it is to give back to some of our community’s most vulnerable members. And these are lessons that can’t be taught in a classroom"



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