Become a Foster Volunteer
Foster Volunteers care for homeless puppies and dogs in their home for a short period of time until the animals are adopted. We are happy to accommodate Foster Volunteers and their schedules in a variety of ways. Foster volunteers can choose how often they would like to foster.
Ensuring that all animals are given proper nutrition, water, and shelter. May also include medicating animals as needed.
Able and willing to attend regular check-ups with veterinary staff.
Alerting Cooper's Safe Place of any medical issues in a timely manner.
Alerting Cooper's Safe Place of any behavioral issues which may affect the animal’s adoptability.
Able and willing to bring foster animals into Cooper's Safe Place when they’ve been made available for adoption
Foster volunteers have Cooper's Safe Place support, and can call with any questions throughout your foster experience. Our foster volunteers also have access to a closed Facebook group to be able to connect with other foster families, share cute photos, videos and stories, and to be able to get advice from more experienced foster volunteers.
1. What does it mean to be a foster volunteer?
○ Foster volunteers provide a temporary home to an animal prior to adoption. Foster homes are a vital part of our mission, and help us to continue to save more lives!
2. What type of animals need fostering?
○ Animals too young for adoption
○ Pregnant animals and nursing mothers with litters.
○ Animals who need medical treatments or support.
○ Animals needing behavior support, or are too stressed to be in the facility.
3. How do I become a foster volunteer?
○ You first start with a foster volunteer application. This gives us a chance to get to know what your household is like and what kind of foster animals would be a good fit for you. After you have filled out the application, we will contact you to go over everything and get you started.
4. How soon after filling out the application will I get my first foster animal?
○ We always need new foster volunteers and will do our best to get you started right away, or as soon as your schedule allows. Certain times of the year will be busier than others and we may need foster volunteers who are ready to start right away.
5. How often will I be expected to foster and how long is the commitment?
○ How often you foster will be entirely up to you. We always check in with you before scheduling you to foster an animal, and you are always in the position to say no. The commitment to foster will depend on the age and health of the foster animal in your care. Foster volunteers who prefer young puppies, (those under the age of six weeks), will have a longer commitment time than someone fostering a weaned puppy that is just waiting on vaccines. Your preference and availability may change over time, and that is okay, just keep us informed!
6. What do I need to supply for my foster animals?
○ We can provide most things that you will need; including food, toys, bedding, medications and treatments when needed. All you need to supply is love and attention!
7. How much space will my foster animal need, and where should they be kept?
○ The amount of space will vary depending on the type of foster animal and how many. Foster animals should be kept in a closed off area inside the house, that is easy to clean. We recommend somewhere without carpet as this can be difficult to sanitize.
8. Do I need to keep my foster animal(s) separate from my owned pets?
○ We recommend that foster animals be kept separate from your own pets for a period of approximately two weeks. This allows you time to monitor your foster animal for illness that may be spread to resident pets, and allows your pets time to adjust to having another animal in the house. Note: We do require that all resident animals be kept up to date with their vaccines and be spayed or neutered.
9. How do I say goodbye to my foster animal?
○ While saying goodbye can be the most difficult part of fostering, it can also be the most rewarding. Thanks to your love and commitment, these animals are now ready for their very own fur-ever home! Our adoption staff works diligently to find great homes for every animal, and they are in our care until adopted. After dropping off your foster animal for adoption, we ask that you fill out a foster interview form to give us more information about the personality of your foster animal and what type of home may be best for them. We share this information with potential adopters to make sure we are finding a good match. Saying goodbye also opens up your home to other animals that need fostered!