SAVING ANIMALS LIVES...THE HEART OF WHAT WE DO.
Help HEART place unadoptable rescue cats in safe, warm barn environments or warehouses.
**Please Help Us Continue Our Mission. Your Help is Needed with Donations and for Volunteers, Foster Homes and Forever homes.**
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Foster Parent Information
FOSTER CARE PROGRAM
A SHORT TIME IN YOUR HOME, A LIFETIME IN YOUR HEART
WHAT IS A FOSTER HOME?
HEART does not have a shelter facility - all HEART animals waiting for adoption are in foster homes. HEART relies on volunteer foster homes Ė one of our most critical needs. The number of animals we can help is closely linked to how many foster homes are available.
Foster homes provide a warm, safe, healthy, loving, environment for the foster animal. A foster parent provides good quality food, fresh water, clean litter, socialization, and lots of love.
Foster pet parents prepare the animal for life in a "real" home. Some of our rescued animals have never had that experience. You will know how rewarding it is when you watch a new owner shower your foster pet with kisses and love, and know that you had a hand in saving the life of an animal.
WHAT KIND OF ANIMALS NEED FOSTER HOMES?
We need help with adult cats, mothers with litters, pregnant cats, kittens, cats recovering from surgery, timid cats, and special needs cats.
WHO CAN BE A FOSTER PARENT?
Foster parents must be 21 years of age or older. Foster homes are families, couples, or people living alone. Most of them already have pets of their own. People who work 9-5 can often be wonderful foster parents. Renters will be considered with landlord approval.
Fostering does require some patience, and the effort to make it work. We are so often amazed at the creative and kind ways foster homes are able to fit in that extra cat that needs their help.
IF I HAVE PETS CAN I STILL BE A FOSTER PARENT?
Absolutely, as long as your pets are comfortable with their new visitors. All pets owned by the foster parent must be in good health, up to date on their vaccinations, altered, not aggressive, and licensed.
Just as when adopting a new pet, we recommend that the foster cat at first be kept separate from your pet to give him or her time to adjust to the foster folks. Some pets adjust quite quickly to a "visitor". And in some cases, the foster pet is kept separate, and is given their own time and attention.
If your cat throws himself at the door of the room where the new cat is or if your dog is just beside himself we will send the foster animal to another foster family as soon as we can.
HOW LONG WILL A FOSTER ANIMAL BE IN MY HOME?
It is very hard to determine the length of time a foster parent will be caring for an animal Ė it could be a few weeks to several months. We try to leave the cat in the same foster home until it is adopted. We do everything in our power to move the adoption process along. We encourage you to bring your foster to as many adoption days as possible.
ARE THERE ANY EXPENSES FOR A FOSTER PARENT?
HEART pays for all veterinary and medical costs for the fostered animal. The foster caregiver is financially responsible for basic supplies such as food and cat litter. When food and litter are donated to HEART they are available at no cost to foster homes. The foster parent will be asked to transport the fostered animal to local adoption events and the vet at their own expense.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
Every animal brought into HEART is examined by a veterinarian before it is placed into foster care. We make sure the animal is tested for communicable diseases, to ensure the "foster brother and sister" cats and dogs are not at risk. All animals receive complete vaccinations, including rabies, and are treated for fleas and worms. If the cat hasnít been spayed or neutered that will be arranged. HEART will do all it can to determine the health of the animal before it goes into your home. If there are known risks, you will be advised at the time of foster placement and it is your choice whether to take on the responsibility.
WON'T IT BE TOO HARD TO GIVE UP MY FOSTER PET?
We all get attached to our foster animals. And fostering does involve some sacrifice. But that is also part of what makes fostering so special. There is sadness and some tears when your foster pet leaves but there is also an immense feeling of satisfaction that you have been a major part in saving an animal's life. It is especially rewarding to hear the new home call back and talk about the most wonderful pet in the entire world and know that it was your love and care that helped to make that pet such a special animal. At that point your job has been done and, somewhere, a new animal needs you.
DO I GET TO PICK MY FOSTER?
Our goal is to place an animal with you that fits your needs and wants and is compatible with your lifestyle. We will help determine which of our pets fits that description.
DO I HAVE ANY SAY IN WHO ADOPTS MY FOSTER?
HEART has the final approval, but the views and opinions of foster parents are given great weight in placing the animal into a new home. HEART wants the people who know and love the animal best to be absolutely confident it is going to a good home.
CAN I ADOPT MY FOSTER?
If you find it hard to say goodbye foster parents can adopt their foster cat but adoption is contingent upon meeting HEART adoption guidelines and payment of adoption fees.
CAN I ADOPT OUT A FOSTERED ANIMAL TO SOMEONE ELSE?
No. All animals in HEART foster homes continue to be the property of HEART and HEART procedures for adoption must be followed. Any person wishing to adopt an animal that you are fostering must go through HEART and follow all normal HEART adoption procedures.
HOW DO I BECOME A FOSTER PARENT?
Each foster parent must complete a
Foster Home Application
and sign a Foster Home Agreement. An inspection of the foster home will be done prior to approval to ensure that you can provide a safe place for an animal. Once your home has been approved you will be contacted and asked to foster an animal in need.
CAT FOSTER CARE AGREEMENT
1. I agree to provide for the care and safety of this animal and to provide a healthy, loving, safe environment until the animal is adopted into a permanent home. I am aware that fostering may be a short or long-term commitment for this animal.
2. I agree that this animal remains the property of HEART until it is adopted. I understand that a foster home may not give a HEART animal to any other person or organization other than HEART. If I cannot keep this animal as a foster or this foster situation does not work out for any reason, the animal will be returned to HEART.
3. I understand that HEART reserves the right to evaluate the living conditions of the animal at any time and I agree to surrender the animal if conditions are not found to be satisfactory.
4. I agree to provide good quality food, fresh water, clean litter, and socialization. When food and litter are donated to HEART they are available at no cost to foster homes.
5. I agree that this animal must be kept as an indoor pet only.
6. HEART shall be responsible for all approved medical bills.
7. I agree to supervise veterinary care that may be required for this animalís health, care and well being throughout its foster care. If the animal is in need of medical attention, I agree to contact a HEART representative immediately and follow their instructions on where to take the animal. If a foster home takes an animal in without contacting HEART, HEART may refuse to be responsible for medical expenses. I will call HEART before seeking emergency medical attention, unless it is a matter of life and death where time is of the critical essence.
8. I agree to follow the instructions given to care for the animalís special needs, such as medication, special diet, etc.
9. I agree that it is my responsibility to help socialize this animalís behavior towards men, women, children, dogs and cats. In the event that problem behavior is noted, I will notify HEART so that HEART can determine an appropriate course of action for the animal.
10. If the animal is ready for adoption, I agree to have the animal available for showing. I agree to allow potential adopters to visit the animal at my home or at a place suitable to adopters, or allow the animal to be taken to another location to meet potential adopters.
11. When possible, I agree to help provide transportation of foster cats to HEART Pet Adoption Center and Cat Adoption Shows.
12. I understand that HEART will make the final decision regarding permanent placement of this animal with the recommendation of the foster home.
13. If I choose to adopt this animal as my own companion, I understand that I must go through the adoption process and will owe the adoption fee.
©2009 HEART Animal Rescue & Adoption Team Inc.
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