What is a foster home?
A dog foster home is an extension of an animal shelter’s lifesaving capacity made possible through partnerships with the public. Through fostering, members of the public provide temporary shelter, food, care, and love for animals in need. These animals may be pets already in custody who need some extra TLC or pets who have nowhere else to go, and ultimately, foster homes serve as the temporary bridge between these at-risk situations and a loving, safe home.
Foster homes increase a shelter’s ability to save lives by preserving kennel space for other animals in need and by sometimes serving as the only viable rescue option for certain pets. But a foster home doesn’t just improve a shelter’s lifesaving statistics, it improves the quality of life for each individual animal it saves. Time and time again, foster homes have proven to transform pets for the better, significantly improving their mental and physical well being. Put simply, a foster home saves lives AND makes those lives better.
How long do I keep a foster animal?
We ask that you keep your foster animal until adoption, but we require a minimum two week commitment (although there are frequently shorter-term options available). We are unable to predict how long it will take for your foster pet to be adopted as it is case specific. Young puppies and kittens are typically adopted very quickly, while adult dogs and cats can take 1-2 months and sometimes longer.
How old do you have to be to foster?
Our fosters need to be at least 18 years old. However, a parent or guardian can sign up as the responsible foster for a family with children under age 18. We encourage families to foster as it serves as a great conversation starter and educational point for making a change in our community regarding pet ownership.
What does TLHS provide to its fosters?
- Resources: behavioral, medical, and general assistance with caring for your foster dog or cat
- Certain supplies like crates, collars, and leashes (as available)
- Care for when you go out of town
- All medical care for the foster animal as deemed appropriate by our Medical Team
- Help with marketing the animal for adoption or placement
What are my responsibilities as a foster?
- Provide a safe, clean, caring environment
- Provide food, water, toys/enrichment, and shelter
- Provide exercise and socialization as appropriate
- Monitor any medical and/or behavioral problems
- Transport to/from any necessary appointments at our Medical Clinic
- Actively participate in marketing your foster pet
- Screen and meet with potential adopters; be responsive and courteous towards each potential adopter
- Carefully read all documents & carefully follow all instructions that TLHS provides
Are there dog-friendly, kid-friendly dogs needing foster homes?
Yes, but since many of our pets are strays or abandoned, we cannot always guarantee the temperament or health of any animals. We do our best to provide our fosters with as much information as possible before they bring the dog into their homes, and then work with our fosters to learn more about the dog as they are in foster.
Do I need to live in Tupelo to foster a dog?
Fosters must live within an hour drive (approximately 40 miles) of the Tupelo Lee Humane Society in Tupelo, MS because medical care is provided at our clinic, adoption events are in the city, and many of our potential adopters live in Lee County, MS. If you live more than an hour away, we encourage you to find and help your local shelter or rescue as there are several others located in northeast MS that may be better suited for your travel needs.
Can I go to the shelter to pick out a foster animal?
Yes, you can come to our shelter to pick out a foster animal! We encourage you to do so! We have so many animals at the shelter that could use some foster TLC. Most of our shelter pets are eligible to go to foster. If you have other dogs in your household, we recommend that you meet the foster dog first without your dog(s), and then we can do a meet and greet with your dog(s). We can do this in the same day. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about meet and greets between dogs.
Fostering dogs saves lives! The number of animals we save depends entirely on the number of foster homes we have open to them. Foster homes truly help us save many more animals than we could with just our shelters.