Foster Volunteers

Foster Volunteers:

Foster Application found HERE

HHS relies on a dedicated team of foster volunteers to help us care for animals that might need some extra care and attention, as well as for those that might be too young or sick to go onto the adoption floor. When they are old enough and/or better, they will be returned to HHS to be placed up for adoption. In addition, we may place certain behavioral cases in foster homes, particularly those that have been long-term stays at HHS and are demonstrating behavioral issues in their kennel. All foster pets come up to date on shots and with all needed medical treatment.

Key Responsibilities for Foster Volunteers:

  • Provide love, food, care, and exercise to pets in need.
  • Provide a temporary safe place to live.
  • Provide an environment where the animal can learn from and socialize with people and other animals (case by case basis).

If interested in fostering, contact or call (386) 340-5311 or complete the Foster Application found HERE


Fostering Dogs and Kittens Saves Lives!

By opening your home to a foster animal from the Halifax Humane Society, you:

  • Open our precious kennel space for another animal.
  • Give an animal a break from the shelter.
  • Learn more about the animal in a home environment; providing us with invaluable information that helps us find the right home for the animal.
  • Give an animal exposure to potential adopters outside the shelter.

Types of Fostering

  1. Fosternaut Program

Short-term fostering typically lasts a week or two and is helpful to us when:

  • We are close to capacity and need to open some kennel space.
  • We are responding to an emergency such as taking a large number of animals all at once such as in the case of hoarding or natural disaster.
  1. Long-Term Behavior (cats and dogs)

Some animals come to us with behavior issues that need regular, daily attention that is difficult for us to provide in a shelter setting with 60+ dogs and upwards of 100 cats. Our Long-term Behavior fosters will work closely with the behavior team based on notes gathered from their behavior both in the kennel and in a foster home. The length of a Long-term Behavior foster varies but is typically 1-3 months, depending on the behavior issue and how quickly the animal is overcoming it.

Long-term Behavior fostering is ideal for anyone interested in animal behavior and training and who wants to make a huge impact on a shelter animal.

  1. Long-Term Medical (cats and dogs)

Some animals come to us with medical issues that require more attention than we can provide in the shelter environment. Some animals need somewhere quiet to recover or daily treatment. All Medical Fosters would receive any medical supplies or medicine needed for the healing process of the animal during the required length of the foster time needed.

Long-term Medical foster usually lasts between 2-6 weeks, depending on the severity of the medical issue and length of recovery time. This type of fostering is great for anyone with an interest in veterinary medicine.

  1. Puppies

An animal shelter is a dangerous place for an unvaccinated puppy. When puppies come into our shelter, it is important to get them out and into foster homes as quickly as possible to limit exposure to illness.

Puppy fostering typically lasts 4-8 weeks and gives the puppy time to become fully vaccinated before entering the shelter environment or growing to be old enough to be fixed and become adoptable.

  1. Kittens

An animal shelter is a dangerous place for an un-vaccinated kitten. When kittens come to our shelter, it is important to get them out and into foster homes as quickly as possible to limit exposure to illness.

Kitten fostering typically lasts 4-8 weeks and gives the kitten time to become fully vaccinated before entering the shelter environment. A kitten can be spayed or neutered once it hit 2lbs which is around 8-10 weeks of age.

  1. Bottle Babies

Did you know there is something called “Kitten Season”? It sounds cute but is actually a really difficult time for animal shelters across the country. Kittens as young as a couple of hours old are taken to animal shelters and until they are old enough to eat on their own (around 4 weeks of age), they must be bottle-fed to survive.

Fostering bottle babies is possibly the single most impactful way a person can save a life at an animal shelter. Bottle baby kittens are extremely vulnerable but with proper care and attention, they can grow up to be healthy, happy adults. Without bottle baby fosters, these young kittens often do not survive.

Bottle baby fosters should be:

  • Able to bottle feed and stimulate for elimination every 2-4 hours, gradually decreasing to every 4-6 hours as the kittens get older.
  • Provide constant warmth in the form of heating pads or microwaved rice packs.
  • Able to follow strict disease-control protocol.

Ideally, bottle baby fosters work from home, are retired, or have the ability to take their little ones to work with them. Bottle babies are very easy as they mostly just sleep but need regular feeding and stimulation for elimination.

Watching your bottle babies grow up to be strong kittens is highly rewarding! Even fostering one litter a year will make a huge difference for our shelter and the lives of our animals.

If you’re interested in fostering, please complete and submit an application and the foster coordinator will contact you shortly. Thanks so much for helping us save more lives! Foster Application found HERE


Foster FAQ:

How do I become a Foster?

  1. Your first step in becoming an HHS foster is filling out the Foster Application found HERE
  2. Take our online video orientation and quiz
  3. Once approved wait for a foster placement plea e-mail
  4. Schedule a time to pick up/ meet your potential foster


Can I pick the animal I want to foster?

No, the shelter deems which animals need to be fostered based on age, medical, or socialization. Ready to go and highly adoptable animals need to be in the shelter to go home to their forever homes!

Can foster parents adopt their foster pets?

Yes!  You would let the Foster Coordinator know you are interested in becoming that animal's forever home and at the end of the foster you would go to the main shelter and an adoption counselor can help finalize your adoption.

What should I consider if I currently have pets?

It’s best to be thoughtful and careful whenever you introduce your pet to other animals, whether at the off-leash areas, daycare or other common animal areas.  This goes for your home and foster pets too! If your pets are current on their vaccinations, maintain healthy diets and lifestyles, and are not immune-compromised, then the health risk should be minimal. We always recommend keeping your owned pets isolated from the foster animals for 7-10 days.

What if a friend or family member wants to adopt my foster animal?

Great! Thank you for helping find homes for your foster animals! Please keep in mind, however, that the animal(s) you are fostering will not be available until their medical work, including spay or neuter surgery, is completed and they return to our facility for Adoption. Please refer interested adopters to our foster coordinator by having them e-mail to start the adoption conversation.

Is there a time commitment?

The length of foster assignments varies based on the needs of the animals. You will receive an approximate duration before you commit to any particular animal.

Are purchases made for foster care tax-deductible?

Purchases made for foster care may be considered donations to the shelter and could be tax-deductible. You will want to keep all of your receipts for any purchases towards foster care and contact your tax consultant to see which purchases are tax deductible.

What do I do if my foster animal needs veterinary care?

Regular veterinary care will be provided for the animal at our shelter. If the animal needs medication we will prescribe them and send them home with the animal. If extra medical care that is not able to be provided at the shelter is needed we will set up a time for you to bring the animal to one of our partner Animal Hospitals.

If you have an emergency during business hours, please call the shelter directly at 386-274-4703 ext. 331.  If something urgent happens after hours: Call (386) 340-5311

ALWAYS check with the shelter staff before making an appointment with a veterinary clinic.  Without proper clearance, we most likely cannot reimburse you for any medical costs.

Can I name my foster pet?

Through the foster program, your foster pet may already have a name given by the adoption group or his or her previous owners.  Please keep the same name!  The pet may already know his or her name, all the shelter paperwork will be completed under that name and the pet may be listed on websites with that name. It’s best to avoid any confusion among shelter staff members, foster families, potential adopters, and the pet.  If you choose to adopt your foster pet, you are free to change the name at that point in time.


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