WHAT IS A FOSTER?
The Baltimore Humane Society is continuously looking for caring and devoted individuals to provide foster homes for animals in need. To increase these animals’ chances of adoption, they must be placed into foster care where they can receive the one-on-one attention that they need. Our need for foster homes is especially great during the spring/summer kitten season.
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.
IN NEED OF FOSTER HOMES
My name is Cricket and I am a super sweet and playful lady! I'm a gentle soul who plans on making my new family very happy. I love to play, snuggle and hang outside with you. I am also very smart and can't wait to learn new things. I would do best in a home without other animals. I just love humans way too much to share any attention with other pets. Please give me a comfy home to rest in while I wait for my furever.
OH MY GOSH! HELLO! I'm Luka and - is that a bird?? - oops sorry...where was I? I'm Luka, the most active 11 month old cat you'll probably ever meet. I LOVE treats, watching Cat TV, and playing with interactive toys! It would be best if I go to a foster home without small children because I can get very overstimulated pretty quickly due to how high energy I am. I would love to go to a home with a foster family that will give me lots of mental stimulation to keep me busy. Ask the staff about how smart I am! I already learned how to sit for treats! If I sound like the foster cat for you, our staff would be happy to give you some more information on me.
Hello everyone, I'm Lady Gray and I need a forever home. I'm a beautiful kitty who is a bit unsure in the shelter environment. I do welcome head rubs and will nudge you for attention, normally on my terms. Just let me come to you so I feel more comfortable. Please consider asking to meet me when you come in for a visit? I would love a cozy spot on your couch until my future family comes to adopt!
Hey there! My name is Cove! I love, love, love people - I love to sit on laps and be petted! I'm a social eater, which means I like you to chat with me while I eat, OR we can eat together! I'm very calm and gentle, love to play with mouse toys and wand toys, and cuddling is my favorite! I would enjoy getting to hang out with you while I wait for my furever home!
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 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
These fosters are utilized the most April-July during Kitten Season. They care for kittens under 8 weeks of age and return them to the shelter for spay/neuter and placement for adoption at 8 weeks of age.
Care focuses on nutrition, socialization, any necessary medication administration, and maintenance of a confined, clean, and safe space for the kittens, away from other animals. Many of our fosters utilize a small bathroom for this purpose.
Types of care include:
• Mother Cat and its litter of kittens 0-8weeks of age- requiring the least amount of care, ensuring adequate nutrition and socialization (usually 1-6 kittens)
• Orphaned Bottle Baby Kittens 0-4 weeks of age- requiring the most amount of care, bottle feeding every 2-4 hours (2 kittens at most)
• Orphaned Kittens 4-5 weeks of age transitioning over to solid food, eating gruel with some assistance 4 times a day (usually 1-6 kittens)
• Orphaned Kittens 6-8 weeks of age eating regular canned and dry kitten food on their own 3 times a day (usually 1-6 kittens)
Kitten fosters must be able to bring the kittens back to the shelter for veterinary exams and vaccinations every 2 weeks M-F 9 am- 4 pm.
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.
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
apply to become a foster
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.
If applying to be a bottle baby foster for kittens, please be aware that they require round-the-clock care, feedings every two hours, and they must be with you 24 hours a day. If you are unable to fulfill these requirements, please do not apply.
We appreciate your patience as we process your application.
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.