Foster Volunteers

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, litter and medical care.  You provide a safe, comfortable space and lots of LOVE!

Medical Foster

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 may need to administer medication or clean wounds or suture sites as well as provide daily care.

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.

Kitten Foster

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.

Puppy Foster

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.

Behavior Foster

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.

Pre-Event Foster

From time to time, we have a need for short-term fosters, specifically for animals going to special adoption events (usually held on Saturdays or Sundays). It’s a fun way to bond with a pet and enjoy the fun and energy that goes with having a puppy or kitten at home for a few days. It’s a great opportunity for young families, retired couples or college roommates. When it’s time for the adoption event, we invite the foster families to be their foster kitten or puppy’s adoption ambassador and chat with potential adopters about how much fun they had with the pet and share stories about its personality. It’s a great way to experience fostering without a long-term commitment. And, did we mention, it’s fun?

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!

If you have any questions about our foster program, please feel free to reach out to Marie O’Brien, Foster Program Manager at (207) 985-3244 ext. 127.

Current foster volunteers: Access VicNet to update information, log in hours and more!