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Volunteer Foster Care
Did you know that fostering is one of the best and easiest possible ways to help animals at the Vanderburgh Humane Society? By becoming a foster parent, you can help give an animal a second chance at life. If you enjoy taking care of baby animals or animals in need of specialized medical care or socialization, then you just might love being a foster parent!
We are always in need of foster parents, primarily for unweaned litters of kittens in the spring & summer. Occasionally, we will also need foster homes for underage litters of puppies, dogs undergoing heartworm treatment, dogs or cats needing extra socialization, or other species of animals. The shelter environment can be a stressful place, sometimes lowering animals’ already-compromised immune systems. Animals get better much more quickly in a home environment with specialized attention, and puppies & kittens are more likely to grow up healthy, happy, and ready for adoption. YOU can help make that happen.
How does fostering work, you ask? How much does it cost? How much work is really involved?
- Fostering is FREE!!! VHS provides all food, medication, supplies, and toys for animals in foster care. If you run out, simply stop by the shelter and we will provide more. All you have to do is transport them back & forth!
- Fostering is on YOUR schedule!!! Animals will typically be in your care anywhere from 2 weeks to 8 weeks, depending on their ages and needs. Whenever they are ready to come back to the shelter, you simply bring them back - and then you can take home different animals if you wish! If there is a family emergency, you can always arrange to bring the animals back to the shelter so they can be placed with another foster family. Going on vacation? No problem! Just wait and take a litter of kittens home when you get back in town.
- Fostering can be done WITH your other animals! The animals you’re fostering will need to have an indoor space where they CAN be separated if needed, such as a spare bedroom, bathroom, or finished basement. But if everyone is in good health and getting along well, you can let your foster animals play with your pets so they get extra socialization.
- Fostering is a great way to help your family learn about the responsibilities of taking care of a pet, without committing to adopting an animal for its lifetime! Thinking of getting a cat? Foster a nursing mom with a litter of kittens first, to see how the kids like scooping litterboxes! Are you considering adopting a dog? Take home one that needs a little work with housetraining or manners, and get the kids on board with the amount of time it takes to train a dog!
The concern that we hear most often is, “But I’d get attached! I wouldn’t be able to let them go!” But it’s easier than you think. If you adopted the first litter of kittens you ever foster, then you’ll be the permanent owner of several new cats for the next 20 years. While you may have saved those kitties’ lives, your house is now full... And you may not have any more room to foster again, which means you’re missing out on saving HUNDREDS of litters in the future. For every animal you foster and send to VHS to find their new homes, you are saving not only their life but the life of the animal who will enter your home after them. It’s such a rewarding experience!
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent, please call Foster Care Coordinator Wende at (812) 426-2563 Ext. 220. Please leave a message if she’s out of the office. Foster parents must meet certain criteria set forth by the VHS and are required to fill out an application which you may download below. Our foster parents are lifesavers, and we can never have enough of them!”
Are you ready to be a VHS volunteer? Click here to get started!
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