The goal of the Humane Society of Greater Miami’s Foster Care Program is to provide the necessary care for those animals who are better served outside of the shelter or for whom there is no room at the shelter. The foster program also helps to improve the quality of adoptions by making sure that animals sent to their new homes are healthy and of the proper age, giving them the best possible chance to remain in their future home as a well-adjusted pet.
The amount of time that someone fosters depends on the needs of the animal. For instance an animal recuperating from orthopedic surgery may need a shorter time than a day old puppy or kitten who will need at least six to eight weeks of fostering. “Caring for an animal who underwent surgery in a home is less stressful than recuperating in a shelter, even in a shelter as clean and “medically safe” as the Humane Society of Greater Miami,” says Dr. Maureen Swan, Chief Medical Officer of the Humane Society of Greater Miami.
A foster parent assumes the responsibility of caring for an orphaned pet until it is physically and socially ready to be adopted into a permanent and loving home. Examples of animals that need foster care are: puppies and kittens under eight weeks of age; animals with special medical or behavioral needs; or mother animals with nursing litters. The Humane Society will provide all necessary food and supplies while you, the foster parent, provide the time, space, physical care, and social attention necessary for development of these special-needs animals.
The Adoption Ambassador program is a special foster care program for select dogs that need extra help meeting their new family. In addition to all standard foster care supplies (food, bowls, toys, bedding and a crate), Ambassador foster dogs go home with an “Adopt Me” collar, leash and bright orange vest. The Ambassador foster dog should be walked, taken to dog parks, dog-friendly restaurants and cafes, dog beaches, Humane Society of Greater Miami adoption events – or any other place where people can meet the dog. Ambassador foster families may be involved in the adoption process as well.
The Bark Around Town program is another great program that allows you to be a foster for just one day as you take out one of our doggies to enjoy a day out on the town. Just as an Adoption Ambassador would take a dog to pet-friendly venues and Humane Society adoption events, Bark Around Town participants do the same, but would return the doggie to the shelter after their day of excitement. This program is perfect for those looking to help a doggie socialize and find a home, but cannot necessarily take the pet into their home for extended periods of time.
Becoming a foster parent can be a wonderfully fulfilling experience. To know that you have contributed to saving the life of an animal that otherwise may not have had a chance is a rewarding feeling that you will never forget.
Living in Miami, we experience warm periods of weather at any time, so kittens and puppies here are born throughout the year. However, the greatest number of litters are born during “the season” which runs from early spring through late fall. Help us help more animals by becoming a foster parent. Email [email protected] for more information.
Foster Care – for special needs animals in your home temporarily until they are ready to return to the shelter and made available for adoption.
- Assist staff by taking home orphaned puppies or kittens and caring for them until they are old enough to be placed up for adoption. At that time the pets are brought back for placement.
- Please note that this volunteer position involves a great amount of time and an emotional commitment. These tiny babies may require care around the clock. Children should not handle these fragile pets. Potential Foster Care Volunteers must provide proof that their own pets are up-to-date on their vaccinations and must be spayed or neutered. All Foster Care Volunteers must attend orientation. To foster or for more information, please call 305-696-0800 ext 290 or e-mail [email protected].
FOSTERING A RESCUE ANIMAL IS A REWARDING EXPERIENCE.
But—Are you fostering him or is he fostering you?
Even though the experience of fostering a shelter animal can be short-lived, it is usually a life changing experience. It is a positive experience for both human and animal. The animals reap the benefits of a safe and loving atmosphere until a forever home is found. Humans learn the rewards and happiness of receiving unconditional love from their pet and returning this love. Many people bond so well with their foster animals that they end up adopting them.
That’s what happened to Dani Kandera, who has fostered many animals from the Humane Society of Greater Miami. First she had to make sure that the foster animals got along with her two dogs. She found that this has never been a problem. She fostered a blind dog who needed to experience a family atmosphere before being adopted as well as kittens and puppies who need that extra care since they are so young. Recently she fostered five kittens. “They were adorable,” she said. “My husband and I spent one hour every night playing with them and my two dogs loved to be around them.” She ultimately kept one and the other four were adopted at the Shelter.
“It’s so rewarding to know that an animal has found a happy home but at the same time, it is sad to have to say good-bye to them”, she says. Erin Reschetar-Quintero, who fosters animals all the time says she cries like a “blubbering baby” when she has to say good-bye. But she will keep on fostering because she thinks having the animals in a family ambiance is so wonderful for them and the experience makes them more adoptable.
The amount of time that someone fosters depends on the needs of the animal. For instance an animal recuperating from orthopedic surgery may need a shorter time than a day old puppy or kitten who will need at least six to eight weeks of fostering. “Fostering an animal who underwent surgery is less stressful than recuperating in a shelter, even in a shelter as clean and “medically safe” as the Humane Society of Greater Miami,” says Laurie Hoffman, Executive Director of the Humane Society of Greater Miami.
Fostering is a great way to test the waters before adopting an animal permanently. Many people don’t know what their true lifestyle or energy level is until they have a dog and can see the impact it has on their lives. The personal fulfillment of knowing that you played an instrumental role in helping a dog or a cat transition from a shelter to a forever home lasts forever. Fostering also increases adoptions by better preparing animals to become beloved family members.