Fostering - It's Purpose
Fostering plays a vital role in our organization because we have no physical shelter building in which to house animals. Finding supportive temporary homes and transitioning them to happy “forever homes” is one of our goals.
Foster home providers enable us to house animals in real home environments. Fostering includes prompt veterinary care, adequate nutrition, shelter, exercise, socialization and placement
Fostering is a wonderful experience for you and your family. You can feel good knowing you have helped save lives. Foster animals provide companionship and purpose. Your act of kindness is repaid in rewards that are beyond words.
We receive pleas daily about animals in need and can only say “yes” when we have a foster home for them to go to.
Join us and become a fosterer and save lives! Together, we can make a difference!
New foster parent orientations will be conducted as needed. Please complete an application and we will contact you as soon as possible.
Foster Application & Agreement (pdf format)
Click on the accordion headings below to view our Fostering FAQs.
How long are animals in foster homes?
The average stay in a foster home is about 3 months. However, most animals with effective photos and stories on the web may stay only a week or two. Others, recovering from an injury, certain breeds and seniors, may stay longer.
I live in a condo, town home, or apartment. Can I foster?
Please ensure your condo, town home, or apartment allows animals and you obtain any approvals required and abide by any weight or breed restrictions.
You certainly can foster. Many of our animals need one-on-one socialization, so a small space can be beneficial. However it’s important that you select an appropriate animal for your lifestyle and are willing to commit to providing the animal with the needed physical and mental stimulation.
What if I have children?
Fostering is a wonderful family experience and can build a foundation of philanthropy in your children. It’s important to select animal that is “age” appropriate with your children, and as a general rule, children under 16 years old should NOT be left alone and unsupervised with any animal. You must also be diligent about providing guidance, instructions and rules to your children about caring for an orphaned animal.
If I have my own animals, can I foster?
Yes, but keep in mind that it’s always a health risk to expose your animal to other animals whether it’s walking at parks, vet waiting rooms or other common animal areas. The health risk is minimal if your animals are current on their vaccinations, maintains a healthy diet and lifestyle, and is not elderly or very young. Cats should be FELV/FIV negative before bringing other cats in the house.
If you or someone in your household is immune compromised, consult your doctor before fostering.
What supplies are needed to foster?
Foster parents provide space, basic training, exercise and love. HHS will provide the foster animal with veterinary care that includes shots, antibiotics, spay/neuter, food, litter and supplies. The Foster Program receives donated items regularly which will be administered by an HHS Foster coordinator or volunteer.
Do I need to have prior medical knowledge or expertise?
No, but you may be asked to dispense medicine to your foster so you will have to be comfortable following veterinarian’s instructions if fostering a sick or injured animal.
How much time each day is needed to foster?
Most commonly 1-2 hours per day. Litters, orphans or animals recovering from illness or injury may require more time.
What is I go on vacation or have a business trip?
If given enough notice, we can usually find volunteers that can foster sit for short durations. Our foster families are compassionate understanding people.
May I bring an animal into the Helotes Humane Society on my own?
Not without prior approval by the foster coordinator. In many cases we will say ‘yes’, (if you are willing to foster the animal yourself), but we often do not have the room to take in strays or owner surrenders.
Can I adopt my foster?
Yes, as long as foster parents meet HHS requirements necessary for adoption. However, it is very rewarding when your foster is adopted and you make room for another foster in your family. We understand that sometimes, foster parents get attached or meet “the one” and decide to adopt. However, please keep in mind that without foster homes we cannot continue to save animals in need.