Foster Care

When an animal arrives at the WCHS that is not quite ready for adoption, we rely heavily on our foster care volunteers. This special group of individuals opens not only their hearts, but also their homes, providing animals with the care and attention they need. Our ability to place animals in foster care is essential to our goal of providing a second chance to as many companion animals as possible

Foster care is a way to help animals currently residing at the shelter by caring for them temporarily in your own home until they are ready to come back to the shelter to be placed up for adoption.

Here are a few reasons animals require fostering:

  • Animals recovering from an illness or injury in need of a calm, quiet place to recuperate
  • Animals in need of socialization or a little extra attention
  • Animals who are nursing
  • Animals who are too young to be adopted
  • Animals needing to put on weight
  • Animals that are depressed and need a change of scenery

Foster parents provide a temporary home for animals that need a little extra TLC. Fostering involves some time, lots of love, and loads of cuddling and petting! You can expect to spend a minimum of at least 1-2 hours daily with your foster, depending on their special needs. Some animals will need 4 or more hours of your time every day. Some will need timely administration of medication for the treatment of illness or special care during recovery. All foster animals require a separate quarantine area to reduce the spread of disease and where the animal can find solace.

We provide our foster families with food, bowls, blankets, beds, crates, litter pans, litter, and any other needs the animal may have during their stay. If the animal is in need of medication, we provide that as well, so all fostering costs you is some of your love and time!

Yes, you can foster if you have companion animals of your own that are willing to share their home with an unfamiliar animal. Foster animals will need to remain in a separate quarantine area to reduce the spread of disease.

If you think you have the room in your heart and your home to become a foster parent, complete an application today! All foster families must first submit an application and then set up an orientation with our Foster Care Specialist.

The Foster Care Specialist thoroughly explains the foster care program and reviews the expectations of foster parents. They ask questions to ensure the proper matches based on what would best suit your experience, environment, and circumstances. They also answer any questions you may have.


The length of stay in foster care can vary from a week or two, up to two months or longer, depending on the animal’s specific needs. The average length of stay is about two to three weeks.

How often you foster is largely dependent on your desire and availability. We are always in need of foster families, especially for cats. Whether you can foster on a consistent basis, or a few times a year, it’s a huge help for our special needs animals and shelter staff.

Becoming a foster parent or family is a great way to make a difference in an animal’s life. It gives you the opportunity to help animals who otherwise may not have a chance. Anyone who has fostered will tell you that fostering an animal until he or she is ready for adoption is an extremely unique and rewarding experience. They will share with you that, while each foster animal they care for will hold a special place in their heart, they know there is another one out there who desperately needs their love and care. Part of the joy of fostering is knowing that the animal you help rehabilitate, socialize, etc., will get the chance they deserve for a loving forever family because of you. Both will benefit from your unselfish efforts.