Know the Reward of Saving Two Lives!
When you foster a homeless dog or cat, you are saving the lives of two animals; the one you care for, and one who fills the newly opened space in our shelter.
Some of our animals need to heal, mature or calm down a little before they can be adopted out. They may be too young, too sick, or not socialized enough. Some just do not adapt to shelter life or have been here for a long time and need to move to a home environment.
Would you like to help them get back on their paws? Give a stressed, homeless animal a chance to decompress, remember what it’s like to be in a loving home, and brush up on its training so it is able to be adopted.
What is a Foster?
Fostering is a great way to help a shelter pet in need. Our shelter staff identifies the best candidates for foster based on behavior and medical needs. When you commit to fostering a shelter pet, you commit to getting them adopted. Part of that commitment means providing BHS with photos and videos of your foster for promotional use. We hope your fosters will wiggle their way into your hearts and start to feel like a visiting family member.
A behavior foster is someone who has experience with positive reinforcement training, is comfortable handling large dogs, and able to follow any and all training protocols given to them by the shelter.
Typically, most behavior dogs need a foster that does not have other pets or small children.
Cat behavior fosters need to be able to recognize the signs that a cat is overstimulated or afraid and how to respond appropriately. Must be able to follow all training protocols given to them by the shelter.
A medical foster is someone comfortable administering oral and/or topical medication.
Medical fosters should be comfortable changing bandages and must have a schedule that allows them to bring the foster pet to BHS a few times a week, depending on the situation.
Medical fosters must be able to follow and adhere to all care directions given by our vet.
A general foster does not need any specific training, just patience, love, and a couch to snooze on.
General fosters most likely care for:
- Senior shelter dogs and cats
- Long term residents
- Any pet in need of a break from the shelter
In order to foster for the Baltimore Humane Society, you must:
- Be at least 23 years of age to foster a dog, or be at least 18 to foster a cat.
- Complete a Foster Care Application, and attend an orientation session with Foster Coordinator, and Trainer.
- Provide your own transportation for routine veterinary appointments at our clinic (approx. every 2-3 weeks for booster shots for kittens/puppies). Baltimore Humane Society will cover basic animal care expenses (food, litter, etc.), and all medical expenses
- Have a willingness to actively ‘market’ your foster animals and assist in finding them forever homes (by attending our adoption events, etc.)
- Provide proof that all pets in the foster home are spayed/neutered unless medically cleared by a licensed Veterinarian
- Provide proof that all pets are up to date on age-appropriate vaccines unless medically cleared by a licensed Veterinarian
For more information about becoming a foster care provider, please email email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
Animals that require a foster home have specific needs and requirements. We must ensure that the animals in need of fostering get priority. Based on your application you will be matched with the best fit!
- Follow all instructions given by BHS shelter staff.
- Bring foster to all vet appointments.
- Bring foster to shelter to meet potential adopters.
- Email 3-5 photos of your foster to Fosterprogram@bmorehumane.org weekly.
- Refer anyone interested in adopting your foster to our adoption counselor to learn more about the adoption process and to see if they are a good fit!
It can vary depending on the shelter pet and their needs. Typically, general and behavioral fosters are checked by our vet two weeks after they leave the shelter, a month after their first visit, and three months after their second visit if they are still in foster care. Your foster may get sick or injured while in your care, which may require additional visits. You MUST be available to take your foster to our BHS vet during the traditional work week.
All appointments must occur Monday-Friday 8am-4pm. We do not have vet hours outside of scheduled hours.
Eventually! We require at least a two-week shutdown period where your foster does not interact with other pets. Different circumstances may require a longer separation or that your pets never meet—which is the case with kittens and pets with certain medical conditions.
We provide food, harness, leash, enrichment toys, and a personalized plan. We can provide our cat fosters with litter boxes, cat litter, and carrier. We offer crates for dogs if necessary.
Thank you for your interest in becoming a foster care volunteer. Please click on the link below that corresponds with the application for the type of animal you would like to foster.
PLEASE NOTE: We are currently recruiting kitten fosters, and behavior and medical dog fosters. Please read the information and submit an application only if you are able to help in one of these capacities.