Foster volunteers with the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society’s Provincial Foster Care Program will temporarily provide a safe and nurturing environment by taking care of animals in their homes. Living in an animal centre can be stressful for some animals! This program offers animals the chance to thrive in a home environment.
Fostering an animal is a rewarding experience. Seeing an animal thrive through love and care can bring so much joy as a caregiver. To give vulnerable animals the best opportunity at the second chance they deserve, we’re asking anyone who can help to join our team.
How do I apply?
We will reach out to those candidates who may be a good match for our current foster needs in their area.
We are currently looking for applicants who:
- can take in animals needing a little extra help learning new behaviours
- can take in animals with medical needs (medication, recovering from surgery, etc.)
- have no other pets in the home (primarily cats and dogs)
- care for pregnant dogs and continue that care once their puppies are born
- Have experience with bottle feeding or are prepared for round-the-clock
*All foster homes wishing to do bottle feeding will be provided with a mandatory online training course.
Do you think you can provide a safe and loving temporary home for an animal in need?
Did you know?
- Fostering can increase an animal’s chances for adoption by helping them prepare for their new home
- We supply everything – food, beds, treats, toys, medical supplies – whatever the animal needs
- We provide individualized care and training plans (as needed) for each animal
- The animal centre staff are available to provide any resources or support required to ensure a successful foster placement and monitor the foster animal’s progress. You’re never alone!
Is fostering right for you?
There are many things to consider before applying to become a foster volunteer:
- Am I over the age of 18?
- Do I live within 40 minutes of an Ontario SPCA and Humane Society animal centre location?
- Do I have reliable vehicle transportation to get back and forth to the animal centre as needed (animal transportation, supply pickups, etc.)?
- Is every family member in the household prepared for the commitment and the emotions involved with fostering?
- Do I have a separate space in my home, such as a finished basement or a spare bedroom to segregate my foster animal, if needed?
- Are all my current pets (if any) healthy and up to date with their vaccinations?
- How will my current pets (if any) tolerate a foster animal in their home?
- Can I kitten/puppy-proof my home to reduce potential safety hazards?
- How long will the animal be left alone?
- Do I have the time and energy to take on the full responsibility of each animal’s care during the entire foster period?
What experience do I need to foster?
Experience in animal care, training and giving medications is helpful in becoming a foster parent, but a willingness to learn is the most important thing! Foster hvolunteers must be able to set aside time to socialize with their foster animal(s) and monitor their health.
Can people adopt the animals they foster?
The purpose of the foster care program is to provide temporary housing for animals in loving homes until they are ready for adoption. There are times when a foster volunteer develops a special bond with a foster animal and considers adoption. If that happens, we work with the foster volunteer to help them officially adopt the animal.
Is there a training process?
Yes, we will provide online training courses, manuals, and resources, as well as any hands-on training as needed.
What happens if a foster animal needs veterinary care?
The team at your local Ontario SPCA animal centre are available to answer any non-emergency health questions that a foster volunteer might have. We also work closely with local veterinary hospitals to provide any additional or urgent care that may be required.
How long does the foster animal usually stay in the foster home?
It depends on the type of animal, its care needs, and the availability of the foster home. Some fosters are able to take on animals recovering from surgery, so they may only have the foster until they are healthy. Or some may stay in the home until they are old enough to be adopted, which could be a few weeks. Some exceptional cases have even been in homes for a few months. It depends on what you can handle and what the animal needs.
What does it mean when we ask for the “ability to provide a safe and appropriately sized space to house foster animals that is segregated from household pets”?
Some foster animals may need to spend all, or some, of their time in foster in a safe space, like a spare room. This can help segregate them from your pets and help with disease control. Whether or not your foster animal will need this will depend highly on the species, your household, and the animal’s needs.