Make a difference at home! When animals require more involved or long-term care, or if they are too young to be adopted, foster volunteers care for them in their homes. AWS provides everything you need to care for foster pets, including beds, toys, food, supplies and medical care. You provide a safe, comfortable space and lots of LOVE!
Medical fostering is an extremely important way to make a difference to pets in need. Whether recovering from an injury or surgery, or needing regular medical treatments, pets get well more quickly outside of the shelter, which can be stressful and prolong recovery. We rely on caring volunteer and staff homes to give these animals the care they need to make a full recovery. Medical fosters do not need to have a background in veterinary care as AWS clinic and program staff, along with foster mentors, provide resources and advice for the duration of the foster period.
Time commitments and animals’ needs vary but are generally broken into three categories:
Short-term: For pets needing a brief recovery time from surgery, or needing a round of antibiotics, short term fostering can last a few days to a few weeks. Fosters make sure the pet is healing properly and may need to administer medication.
Long-term: For pets with bigger medical issues, like recovering from a fracture, long-term care may be needed. It could last a few weeks or a few months, depending on each animal’s needs. In many cases, foster pets can be integrated into the household and socialize with other pets while healing. Regular visits to the AWS Clinic may also be required. As with all fostering opportunities, each animal’s needs are unique and are assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Hospice: For volunteers able to do so, there are occasional fostering opportunities for extremely elderly or gravely ill pets. Hospice fosters shower the pets with love and affection and provide end of life care as needed.
Kittens are not old enough to be adopted until they are 8-12 weeks old, so we rely on volunteers to take care of them. Throughout the year, but most frequently in the spring, summer and early fall, we take in orphaned kittens, pregnant moms, and moms with kittens. We like to get them into foster care right away. Fostering can last a few days, a few weeks to a few months, depending on the age of the kittens and their individual needs.
Before they reach adoption age (8-12 weeks old), puppies stay in foster homes where mom has quiet space to nurse her babies and where the puppies can learn and grow. Puppy fostering can last a few weeks or a few months, depending on the puppies’ ages and needs.
Some pets come to us a little nervous or needing to brush up on some skills to help them become the best family pet possible. We rely on the help of foster families to provide training, socialization and stability to help these animals learn and grow. Fostering can also provide much needed relaxation and a break for pets that find the shelter to be a stressful environment. Volunteer training level and time commitment can vary, from as short as an overnight to as long as a few months.
To get started, please fill out the foster care application. After receiving your application, we will be in touch regarding foster needs we have. Thank you!
Any upcoming foster volunteer orientations or foster seminars will be listed below. If you don't see anything, please check back soon.
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For orphaned kittens, bottle-feeding is essential during the first 4-5 weeks of life. We will learn about Kitten Milk Replacement, how to prepare it and how to properly feed it to the kitten to best mimic the natural process. This session will be led by two very experienced AWS foster volunteers. Between the two of them, over the past few years, they have fostered dozens of orphaned kittens. There is no cost to attend. Current and prospective AWS foster volunteers,…Find out more »