Become a Foster

While we provide the best possible care in the shelter,  we know there is no place like home-especially if a pet is underage or in need of medical care. That is why our foster families are so important.  Folks just like you give pets the best possible chance to succeed through temporary loving foster care. If you are interested in joining our family of fosters please read on for more information. Or, jump to the Foster Orientation below.

The foster experience is as important to the people as it is to the pets who are cared for. Watch “Together We Thrive” to see how fostering builds opportunities for pets and people:

What is the HOPE Foster Program?

HOPE stands for Helping Our Pets Excel. Our HOPE Foster Families do just that! Volunteers care for pets brought to the Humane Society in need of a little extra care, time and attention before they can go home.

Foster parents help HSWM pets by:

Caring For Puppies, Kittens and (sometimes) Bunnies: Provide the care, time and attention young animals need before they can be adopted. Puppies and kittens need a lot of human interaction and socialization in their early weeks to be socially successful. Our foster families provide love and care during this crucial period of development. Time spent with a loving foster family also gives their immune systems the time to develop so they can be safely cared for at the shelter.

Helping Pets Recover/Medical Foster:  We are fortunate to have a skilled veterinary team because it means pets with medical conditions can be treated and adopted. However, the shelter is not the best place for pets recovering from a procedure or condition. Our medical fosters offer a quiet space and consistent care that leads to the most successful recovery. HSWM provides the medications and supplies; fosters supply the love and care.

Offering Stress-Less Alternative: Imagine yourself as a pet suddenly placed in a kennel or cage with unknown animals nearby and strangers walking in and out of your space. If that sounds stressful, it is. While some pets thrive in the structure of our program, many are stressed by the simple fact of existing in a shelter rather than a home. Sometimes pets need a break from the shelter or an alternative to the stressful setting. Some pets even develop stress-induced behaviors making it difficult for adopters to see their true personalities. By fostering these pets we learn more about their behaviors in a home setting, making them more adoptable pets.

Increasing Our Capacity: There are times when the need for our services exceeds our capacity to appropriately house and care for pets. This is especially true when we are faced with a hoarding or animal cruelty case. You can help us help more pets by becoming a foster and an advocate for a pet in your home. 

Providing Fospice: Fospice, or foster care of a pet near the end of life, is an important aspect of animal welfare. It offers a compassionate and humane way to care for animals who may no longer be able to receive veterinary care but are able to live fulfilling lives for a period of time. Fospice provides a loving home environment for these pets until the end of their lives, allowing them to live out their days with dignity and comfort. By providing this kind of care, fospice helps ensure that these animals are not forgotten or abandoned when they cannot be cured. It is an invaluable service that allows us to give back to our animal companions in their time of need.

Community Care: Community Care is an essential service for pets in transition, providing a safe and temporary environment for them to stay until their people are able to provide for them again. Community Care is especially important for those in our community who are facing hardship. Whether the hardship is caused by a medical condition, financial challenges or homelessness this program recognizes the importance of pets in the lives of all of our community members. It provides a place where pets can stay temporarily, until their people are able to care for them again. By providing a loving  and temporary space, Community Care fosters ensure that no pet goes without the care they need.

Steps to Fostering

Fostering pets for the Humane Society allows us to find homes for all adoptable animals and temporarily displaced pets. Please complete the following orientation and foster application if you are interested in joining the HSWM family of fosters:

Thank you in advance for your interest in fostering. We will send a confirmation email once you have completed the orientation and application (found at the end of the presentation).