To fill out an application to become a foster, Click Here!
QUALIFICATIONS TO BE A FOSTER PARENT
To be eligible to be a PAWS foster pet parent, you must:
- Have genuine concern for the welfare of animals, consistent with the no-kill philosophy and values of PAWS.
- Be conscientious about monitoring the medical condition, mental state, and behavior of your foster animals.
- Be at least 18 years of age. We encourage children to participate actively in the Program, but adults are required to be the main caregivers of the foster animals in the home.
- Be a resident of the Concho Valley area.
- Complete a Foster Volunteer Application & Agreement, which is available here or at our Adoption Center in Sunset Mall. PETS MAY NOT BE PLACED IN YOUR CARE UNTIL THE APPLICATION HAS BEEN PROCESSED AND APPROVED BY THE PAWS STAFF.
- Have appropriate space in your home.
- Assure that your own pets are current with their vaccinations. If you have dogs, they must be licensed. This will be verified with your veterinarians office by phone. If we are unable to get verification by phone you may be asked to bring in proof of vaccinations.
- Have your property owner’s approval if you are renting.
- Have the time to care for/play with your fostered animals.
- Be willing (and commit) to providing love and shelter to a foster pet for the duration of his or her enrollment in the adoption program. The average stay in a foster home is 3-6 weeks, but some dogs and cats do take longer to place.
- Be willing to place your trust in PAWS staff to determine what is best for the animals. This may include removing the animals if the foster situation is not advantageous to the animals.
- Be prepared to say goodbye. You have given your love and attention, so it may be difficult to part — realize that your fosters are ready for adoption only through your efforts. You can trust our Animal Care Specialists to find them the best possible homes.
- Be willing to give your time, a place in your home, and lots of love.
RESPONSIBILITIES IN THE FOSTER PET PROGRAM
When you become a foster pet parent, you abide by certain policies we have put in place for the benefit of our animals, including:
- Foster animals are in your temporary care; they remain the property of Concho Valley PAWS (PAWS).
- You may not release foster animals, even temporarily, to anyone other than PAWS for any reason. Veterinary care is okay, of course.
- Adoption appointments/meet & greets may be arranged by PAWS staff or authorized volunteers. We ask that you never give your name or address out to a perspective adopter. This is for your safety as well as the animal’s.
- Adoption events are held the second and forth Saturday of each month. These events are generally at our adoption center inside Sunset Mall. Occasionally, we may have a special community event, but you will receive advanced notice. We ask that the fosters drop their pets off on adoption event days at 11:45am and be available to pick the dog up at 4:30pm. We do require that your foster pets attend at least one event per month. If there any concerns about the adoption event attendance, please let us know. We want to ensure success for you as a foster and for our pets.
- Felines are indoors at all times. Canines share your space with you inside your home — our dogs are never tethered outside or left in the elements.
- Please give us as much advance notice as possible if there is an emergency and you cannot meet your commitment to the animal(s). As you know, a home environment is much better than the kennel for animals. We will have to arrange for another foster parent to take over. This requires considerable time as there are many more animals needing fostering than people signed up to be foster parents. Unless it is an emergency, we need at least a week’s notice to arrange for alternative care for your foster animals.
- Readying animals for adoption is our mission, but foster parents sometimes want to adopt their charges. If this happens, let us know your feelings. We are always happy when a perfect match is made, assuming that the animal is available and adoption procedures have been followed. However, we highly recommend serial foster parenting! Since fostering is so important to saving lives, we ask that you consider how adopting someone will affect your ability to continue fostering in the future.
- All adoptions must go through PAWS. Occasionally, people who want a specific animal become emotional or even angry when they are disappointed. Please help us make these people understand that our primary concern is the welfare of the animals – while we want to make people happy, the animals come first. Never approve an application on your own or make promises to potential adopters.
- Refer prospective adopters directly to our Animal Care Specialists. There are several reasons why you should not try to arrange adoptions yourself, including:
– Potential adopters must complete an adoption application, be approved, and pay the adoption fee.
– Once an application is approved, foster animals must return to the adoption center for the adoption appointment. That time is used to verify that their records regarding spay/neuter, vaccinations, and microchip are in order. As a safety measure we also scan to ensure that the microchip is reading and the number on file is accurate. We also want to examine the pet to make sure the pet is in good mental and physical health.
- If you are removed from the Foster Pet Program, you must return the foster animals to PAWS immediately.
GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF FOSTER PET PARENTS
Fostering can be a wonderful, rewarding experience for you and a happy time for the animals. We have developed the following guidelines to help you to be successful…and to steer you through some of the challenges that your unpredictable furry friends will inevitably bring your way. We hope that the rewards of fostering will make up for any difficulties you may encounter.
- Provide loving care.
- Prepare your home to be a clean, safe, accident-free environment.
- Socialize the animals you are fostering. “Socialize” simply means being around the animals to make them comfortable with people through such activities as talking, touching, petting, cuddling, grooming, nail cutting, and basic instruction. Depending on the age and condition of the animals, it may include anything from potty training to obeying basic commands to walking on a leash.
- Use only positive, “reward-based” training techniques.
- Call us immediately if you notice anything unusual such as vomiting, diarrhea, excessive sneezing, or lethargy. PAWS pays for all veterinary care and medicines, but all veterinary care must be approved and arranged through the office. In case of emergencies, there is an emergency after hours number: (325)-656-3950.
- Closely observe your animals to determine their temperament in new and different situations. Please advise us of any undue aggression towards humans or other animals.
- Transport the animals to the veterinarian or the shelter when requested; for example, for medical care or vaccinations.
- We know that you are going to enjoy the particular characteristics of your foster animals – and that you will have lots of stories to tell. We ask that you keep brief notes that will help us to match each individual animal to their best “forever home”.
- Along similar lines, you may want to take some pictures – prospective adopters enjoy looking at appealing pet photos.
- Please be truthful if you notice bad habits. We need to know right away in order to start a behavior modification plan.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF OUR ANIMAL CARE SPECIALISTS
We are here for the animals, and we endeavor to make the fostering experience as positive as possible for all concerned. Briefly, our Animal Care Specialists will:
- Screen the health and assess the behavior of potential foster animals to determine suitability for the Program.
- Provide vaccinations, worming, and other necessary medical procedures.
- Match available animals to foster pet parents based on the needs of the animals. Of course, you may specify the type of animals you wish to foster, and we will find the animals most suitable for you and your home environment.
- All pets will have a health exam, receive annual vaccinations, be microchipped, collared and tagged before being placed in your care.
- Provide supplies and food if you need them. Some people are already set up; others may need start-up items; still others may want to borrow non-consumables such as crates. Please discuss your needs with us.
- Support and counsel the foster pet parent during all stages of the process. We are always willing to provide guidance on animal care and encourage you to call us if you have any questions or concerns.
- Assure that foster animals receive regular check-ups, weigh-ins, and medical procedures. At these times, appointments are made and you bring the animals to the assigned veterinary office. We pay all medical costs, including medications, formula, and prescription food.
- Spay/neuter at the appropriate age/weight.
“A house is not a home without a pet.”