Foster a Pet
Foster volunteers are the core of our rescue process. They provide our animals with comfort and care while we search for an adoptive home. Whether you are a first-time pet guardian or have had pets for decades, opening your home and heart to a foster pet can make a remarkable impact on an animal’s life.
Learn more about fostering:
As a volunteer-run organization without a shelter of its own, Rescuzilla relies on a network of foster homes in the New York City and Washington, D.C. metro areas to save pets from being euthanized in city shelters. Not only do fosters make all the difference in the world for the animal, they also provide the information that gives adopters the advantage of knowing what to expect when bringing that animal into their family. Together we can create solid matches for successful adoptions and save more lives. Learn more in our FAQs, below.
When you are ready, contact us and we will walk you through the process. We look forward to hearing from you!
WHY DO WE NEED FOSTERS?
As a volunteer-run organization without a shelter of its own, Rescuzilla relies on a network of foster homes to save dogs and cats from being euthanized in city shelters.
Foster parents are at the heart of the rescue process: they care for an animal in their own home, getting to know them and their needs hands-on. Whether those needs include a little training, a safe place to heal, or simply some extra time while we search for a permanent home, fostering is a great way for animal lovers to get to experience what it’s like to have a pet – with a support system and without the lifelong commitment.
Not only do fosters make all the difference in the world for the animal, they also provide the information that gives adopters the advantage of knowing what to expect when bringing that animal into their family. Together we can create solid matches for successful adoptions and save more lives.
HOW LONG DOES FOSTERING LAST?
Rescuzilla is most in need of flexible foster parents who can commit to caring for their foster animal until a home is found. The more available and communicative a foster parent is, the more efficiently we can find a home for their foster animal. Most foster periods last between 3 weeks and 3 months until the animal is adopted.
On occasion, temporary fosters are also needed if a foster parent needs to travel, or if time is needed for a permanent foster home to be found. Temporary foster periods generally last 1 to 3 weeks.
DOES FOSTERING COST MONEY?
Foster homes are an invaluable asset to saving more lives, and Rescuzilla does everything possible to support their foster parents! We provide donated supplies for you to use during your foster period, and we are happy to cover additional costs that may arise such as food or veterinary care. Just contact us to let us know what you need!
Some foster parents don’t mind paying for food or supplies for their foster animal, and you may be able to claim deductions on your taxes if you choose to do so!
WHAT DO I DO IF MY FOSTER GETS SICK?
At Rescuzilla, we cherish the relationships we’ve established with our trusted veterinarians. If you notice a problem with your foster, please let us know right away! We will gladly communicate with our vet, schedule an appointment for you if needed, and handle all related expenses. Your responsibility as the foster parent is to attend the appointment with the animal and be willing to administer follow-up treatment or medication as instructed.
WHAT SKILLS ARE NEEDED?
As a foster parent, you’re bound to encounter behaviors or situations that you haven’t before, and some foster animals will require a little extra help. A shy cat may need time to learn to trust in a quiet home environment where they feel safe. Dogs can always benefit from a little obedience training, so familiarizing yourself with some basic positive-reinforcement techniques can be a big help.
While it’s best to have the right knowledge under your belt, we understand that everyone has to start somewhere! We will do our best to choose a foster for you that fits your experience level. Above all, we are looking for foster parents who are committed to the process, are willing to learn, and are ready to work with the animals as they adjust to a new environment and await their forever home.
WHAT ABOUT MY OWN PETS?
If you have pets of your own, you’ll want to consider how they will adjust to welcoming a foster pet into your household. It’s possible that your foster pet could show signs of illness after leaving the shelter system, so it’s important to keep your pets up-to-date on vaccinations and be prepared in case the foster pet needs to be isolated from your own pets. Think about how you will manage food, toys and resources, walks, and personal space to ensure all are comfortable and safe. We like to introduce pets to potential fosters at the shelter whenever possible to set everyone up for success.
WILL I HAVE TO FIND A HOME FOR THE ANIMAL MYSELF?
Rescuzilla will take full responsibility for finding a new home, but you can help by telling friends, family and co-workers about your foster! We promote adoptable animals through adoption events, word of mouth, websites like Facebook and Petfinder, and we can even provide you with business cards and an “Adopt Me” vest to bring extra attention to your foster dog when you’re out and about in your neighborhood. The more photos and videos you take, and the more details you provide to us about your foster’s personality, the easier it will be to market them to prospective adopters. Help us by being your foster’s strongest advocate!
HOW DOES THE ADOPTION PROCESS WORK?
Finding a loving, lifelong home for each of our animals is Rescuzilla’s top priority. We strive to make great matches while creating a positive and supportive adoption experience. Foster parents are a critical piece of the puzzle, and we value your feedback and will address any concerns you may have throughout the meet & greet process. Learn more about our adoption process.
WHAT ABOUT WHEN IT’S TIME TO SAY GOODBYE?
Giving up an animal you’ve fostered, even to a wonderful new home, can be emotionally difficult. Some people like to be there when the pet goes home with the new family, so they can ease the transition for themselves as well as the animal. Seeing your foster ride off into the sunset will help you remember that they have found a loving new home. We’ll make sure to send along any photos and updates we receive so that you can share in the joy of knowing the animal is doing well, thanks to your hard work! All in all, helping an animal find a loving home is tremendously rewarding.
Every now and then, a foster home turns into a permanent home. That’s why rescue, shelter, and humane organizations are always recruiting new foster homes! If you are seriously considering adopting your foster animal, don’t wait until it’s too late! Contact us about the adoption process before someone else has entered the picture, so we can avoid disappointing qualified adopters and ensure a positive experience for everyone.