Human Service Organizations

You Don't Have To Do It Alone!

It’s all about collaboration! If you are a human services shelter exploring fostering as a way of caring for your clients’ pets, reach out to your local animal shelter or rescue groups that already have foster programs to get their advice.

We have worked with many domestic violence and homeless shelters that have started their pet programs by fostering pets before evolving their programs into on-site pet housing.  If you think you are ready to coordinate your own foster program, ask your local animal welfare organizations to provide you with their foster agreements and foster training materials. Really pick their brains about some of their foster program experiences to prepare yourselves for situations you may run into. In our Documents Library, we have provided a sample foster agreement used by one of our animal welfare providers.  On the Resources page, you will also find foster training resources.

Animal Welfare Organizations

Fostering Owned Pets is a Different Ball of Fur

Your animal shelter may want to start a Temporary Care Program for people in your community that are experiencing some sort of crisis. Some Temp Care Programs house the pets in their shelter, some are strictly foster-based, and some utilize both strategies. Regardless of the housing strategy you select, there are some things to consider about these pets.

Many of the pets that come in from human service organizations may have witnessed or been victims of domestic violence.  This experience may have left them with some PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) or, at the very least, high-stress levels.

While your staff may have experience with anxiety and stress, your average foster parent may not.  Choose your fosters wisely and prepare them for what behaviors they may expect from these pets.

Check out our Temporary Care Program foster agreement example in the Documents Library to see an example of what our partners are using.

Document Library

Good Agreements Make Good Partnerships

As with all partnerships, managing partner expectations and setting well-established parameters will be the foundation of your program’s success.  Many animal shelters don’t fully investigate the needs of the humans they are going to serve.  One of the most common complaints we hear from the human services shelters they partner with is the duration of time animal shelters allow pets to stay.  Do your research and find out how long most clients will require foster services.

Once you have determined how long you will care for each pet, craft your Pet Agreements to clearly outline that length of stay and what process will occur if they need more time. Check out an example from one of our partners.

Document Library
“Many of us can’t imagine losing our pets due to a temporary crisis, but this is a reality our clients face daily, and that is where our Temporary Care program comes in! Allowing families in need access to life-saving services and the pets therein continued support as they await reunion! And what a reunion that is! Surely, there is no wider smile or more joyful tears had!”

Alexandra Fur
Safety Net Resource Coordinator
Nashville Humane Association