Who can be a foster volunteer?
Our foster volunteers come from all walks of life. No experience is necessary; we will train you. Foster volunteers must be at least 21 years of age to be the primary caregiver for animals. This program is perfect for families, college students seeking hands-on animal experience, busy professionals who can’t commit to pet guardianship, and senior citizens looking to put their experience to work. Foster volunteers must be willing and able to drive foster animals to the shelter at least weekly for regular health and behavior checkups; therefore a valid driver’s license and proof of personal auto insurance is required. Click here to review our foster position description.
How do I become a foster volunteer?
Anyone interested in becoming a foster volunteer must attend a foster orientation, subsequent animal handling training (AHT), and foster care training classes. Additionally, our foster care coordinators conduct home visits with potential foster volunteers to ensure the environment is a good fit for foster placements. As part of the volunteer application process, each new volunteer must pay a volunteer fee of $30 to attend orientation. This fee goes towards administration fees, training, and a background check, as all volunteers submit to national criminal background checks and a sex offender search. Click here to sign up for Foster Orientation!
Do I need to provide any supplies?
NOCO Humane will provide you with food, leashes, litter, litterboxes, toys, etc.; however, we do appreciate if you are able to provide some supplies as needed. All items you purchase for foster animals are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. We ask that you provide a spare bedroom or bathroom for your foster animal to live in and that you plan to keep your owned animals separated from foster animals for at least two weeks. The shelter provides all veterinary care for foster animals.
Do I need special skills or training to be a foster volunteer?
Our program is designed to suit your experience and interest levels. Some animals require medications and veterinary treatment, and some just need a warm place to stay. We’ll work with you and your comfort level, provide the necessary training, and will always be available to answer your questions. All new foster volunteers start with fairly low-maintenance foster animals and work their way up to the more time-intensive foster experiences, if they wish.
What Types of animals need foster care?
Animals cared for in foster homes may include:
- Kittens with nursing queens
- Weaned kittens and puppies that need a few weeks to grow strong enough for placement
- Adult cats or dogs suffering from treatable illnesses such as upper respiratory infections or kennel cough
- Animals recovering from surgery that need care
- Animals needing patience, manners, socialization, confidence-building, or other behavioral support
- Bottle-baby kittens in foster homes that can support round-the-clock care
- Animals should the shelter face issues of overcrowding
How long will I be fostering an animal, and what kind of care is involved?
The average stay for a foster animal is three weeks, but some foster animals can require up to three months to recover from injury or illness. Some foster animals, like newborn kittens, require round-the-clock care. Puppies and kittens need structured socialization and basic manners training. Others, such as hamsters or birds, simply need daily attention. We’ll arrange a foster care time commitment around your lifestyle, work schedule, and vacation plans. We ask that you commit to fostering at least two cases per year. The foster care department offers periodic educational seminars relating to many aspects of animal care, including but not limited to, cat enrichment, puppy raising, and rabbit care.