Foster Program FAQs

/Foster Program FAQs
Foster Program FAQs2019-03-20T11:12:43-04:00
What if someone asks me how they can adopt my foster animal?2023-10-04T10:12:18-04:00

Send the Foster Care Program Manager the person’s contact information and we will be in touch with them regarding our adoption process.

How do potential adopters find out about my foster animal?2019-04-08T14:18:35-04:00

All of our adoptable pets are listed on multiple pet search websites, such as Petfinder. We regularly share updates on our animals in foster care via social media (mainly Facebook and Instagram) and do work behind the scenes to match interested adopters with available animals. We also encourage fosters to advertise their foster animal on their own social media pages as well.

What if my foster animal needs to see a veterinarian?2023-10-04T10:14:33-04:00

North Shore Animal League America covers the cost of veterinary care for foster animals at our Medical Center only. Appointments can be scheduled directly with the medical center or through the Foster Care Program Manager .

What happens if I have to go on vacation and/or a work-related trip while I have a foster?2019-04-08T14:09:49-04:00

Please give the Foster Program Manager at least 1 week notice if you will be travelling and need supervision for your foster animal. You will make plans with the Foster Program Manager to either return the animal to Animal League America or bring the animal to another approved foster.

What happens if I want to adopt my foster animal?2023-10-04T10:36:26-04:00

This is not a “foster to adopt” program. Fostering is intended to provide temporary care to an animal. We work hard to make sure each animal is adopted into the most compatible home and acknowledge that sometimes it is their foster home. If you are interested in adopting your foster animal you must contact the Foster Care Program Manager as soon as possible since foster parents do not have the first right to adopt. If the animal does not have any interested adopters at the time the foster expresses interest in adopting, the foster parent may submit an adoption application to potentially adopt the animal.

Do I get to choose which animal I foster?2019-04-08T14:06:51-04:00

Sometimes. We always match newly approved fosters with their first foster animal based on their experience level and parameters listed in your application (under 25 lbs, friendly with other cats, etc.). After that, fosters can respond to foster opportunities that come up through our email newsletter or on social media. Keep in mind that the animals that are in need of foster homes vary and we can’t always give fosters a choice between multiple animals.
*Note: Not every animal seen on our website is eligible for fostering.

What should I expect when I welcome a new foster into my home?2023-10-04T10:38:28-04:00

Welcoming a new foster into your home is an exciting experience. It is important to acclimate your new foster animal appropriately. Upon being accepted into our Foster Care Program, you will be briefed with the proper home acclimation methods for dogs and/or cats. Often times this is the animals first experience in a home, you should expect to work on common training issues such as house training, proper eating regimen, and socialization. We always provide fosters with as much information as we have and take into consideration the foster’s experience level when placing an animal.

If you run into additional behavior issues with your foster animal, we have a team of pet behaviorists as well as Foster Care Program staff who would be happy to assist you in correcting the problem. More often than not, it is a small issue that can be corrected with a little extra attention and time. We always ask, no matter how small the issue is that you notify the Foster Care Program Manager so we can make sure it is handled properly.

Is fostering hard?2019-04-08T14:02:29-04:00

Fostering is extremely rewarding, but we acknowledge that sometimes it can also be difficult and emotionally taxing. Every foster experience is different, but we’re always here to help and have a community of veteran fosters who help guide new fosters through the trials and tribulations of fostering. Often times, this will be the first home the animal has ever known so we ask that all foster animals are given the courtesy of an open mind and patience while they are settling into their new environment. Fostering is fun, rewarding, awesome, and so many other things, but nobody will say that it is easy.

Can I foster an animal if I work full time outside of the home?2019-04-08T13:44:25-04:00

Yes, but you need to make proper arrangements for the animal to be cared for during the day. This may include coming home on your lunch break to care for them or hiring a professional dog walker.

  • Adult dogs must be let outside to relieve themselves at least 3x/day (the longest they can be left alone is 6 hours) and fed 2x/day (morning & evening). They also require proper exercise and mental stimulation. Puppies require even more attention and supervision, and are not typically placed with a foster who works out of the home full time.
  • Adult cats must have their litterboxes scooped at least 2x/day and be fed 2x/day (morning & evening). They should receive socialization and fosters should plan to spend at least 10-15 minutes a few times each day engaging your cat in some form of activity. Kittens require even more attention and stimulation, and are usually placed in pairs.
What are my responsibilities as a foster parent?2023-10-04T10:40:57-04:00

On a daily basis, you are responsible for providing your foster animal with love, food/water, shelter, safety, training and proper socialization.

You are expected to be available via phone call, text, and/or email to provide updates on how the animal is doing, coordinate vet appointment or meetings with potential adopters. You must answer any questions we may have about your foster animal honestly so that we can make sure they stay healthy and all of their needs are met. You are expected to transport your animal to our Port Washington, NY campus whenever necessary, when given reasonable notice for purposes including veterinary care, readmission to the shelter, meetings with potential adopters, training, etc. You are expected to make plans to pick up any supplies you need directly with the Foster Care Program Manager and return all supplies to Animal League America so that it is available for another foster to access. We also ask that fosters send us photos and videos of the foster animals in the home to use on the animal’s online profile and our social media channels.

What does Animal League America provide to fosters?2019-04-08T14:32:55-04:00

Animal League America provides its foster parents with any core supplies that their foster animal needs, medical care, basic training and support from our foster team and community! Supplies includes food, basic care supplies (collar, ID tag, leash, bowls, size appropriate crates or carriers, beds, etc.), medication, preventative care and more! If you like a particular brand, unfortunately you would have to supply that yourself. We can only supply you with what we have in stock here at our Port Washington, NY campus.

Can I foster if I already have an animal of my own?2019-04-08T14:31:21-04:00

Yes, as long as your animal is altered, up-to-date on all core vaccines and on monthly preventatives! We will need your veterinarian’s contact information for a vet reference to verify your animal’s medical history. Keep in mind that the foster animal is coming from a shelter or hospital environment and could be harboring an illness, so we recommend keeping the animal separate from your resident animal for at least two weeks.

When does my foster pet see the vet?2023-10-04T10:19:49-04:00

We have outpatient hours from 10am – 6pm every day of the year. The last appointment for the day is scheduled at 5:30pm. You can make an appointment by calling the Foster Care Program Manager or the Foster Care Coordinator.

When do I have to bring the foster animal back?2017-05-10T20:48:29-04:00

That depends on when the veterinarian needs to see the animal again, and when it can finally go up for adoption. Usually the veterinarian likes to see the foster animals at least monthly.

What kinds of animals do you have to foster?2023-10-04T10:22:46-04:00

There are a wide variety of canines and felines looking for foster homes, including:

  • Kittens and puppies that are too young for adoption
  • Cats and dogs recovering from surgery, illness, or injury that need a place to heal
  • Newly rescued or other animals that are not thriving in the shelter environment
  • Cats and dogs with special needs (both behavioral and/or medical)
  • Senior cats and dogs looking for a home to spend their retirement
  • Cat and dog nursing litters that need a quiet home to thrive
What if my foster pet is doing something I don’t want it to do, i.e., soiling in the house, chewing on my shoes, scratching my furniture, nipping at me…?2023-10-04T10:42:55-04:00

We have a wonderful Pet Behavior Department that can help with many of these problems. Please contact the Foster Care Program Manager to be connected.

What if it’s not working out?2023-10-04T10:44:17-04:00

There is always an adjustment period for fosters (humans and animals!). Fosters are expected to work through challenges with their foster animal with the help of the Foster Care Program and Pet Behavior personnel. However, we understand that sometimes it isn’t the right fit. In that case, you would make arrangements with the Foster Care Program Manager to return the animal, and we can try to find you another animal to foster that might be a better match.

What if it is a medical emergency?2023-10-04T10:46:08-04:00

Contact the Foster Care Program Manager & Medical Center immediately. If the emergency occurs after hours or our medical center is closed, contact the Foster Care Program Manager and if it is a true medical emergency, take the foster animal to the nearest emergency veterinary hospital. We will only cover the cost of an emergency visit if we consider the condition a true veterinary emergency, which we define as a condition that is immediately life threatening to the animal.

What if I think my foster pet is sick?2023-10-04T10:25:17-04:00

Please call the Foster Care Program Manager or the Pet Health Center to make an appointment for the animal to be seen by a veterinarian.

What if I run out of food?2017-05-10T20:44:07-04:00

We hope that you plan ahead, but if you do run out of food you can always call and get more. If it is late at night, please try to feed the animal something similar to what they are already eating; if it is formula (for kittens), there is a recipe in the workbook that you can make at home.

What if I just adopted a puppy/dog/cat/kitten from the Animal League?2017-05-10T20:43:33-04:00

We ask that you wait until your kitten/puppy or your cat/dog has been fully vaccinated and in the home for more than a month.

What if I have a friend/family/neighbor that wants to adopt the foster animal?2023-10-04T10:27:55-04:00

Great! Have them call the Foster Care Program Manager or Foster Care Coordinator with their information and we will contact them. They will have to come in and fill out an application and pay the adoption fee. They must go through the same process to be approved for an adoption as any adopter.

What if I can’t foster anymore?2023-10-04T10:47:31-04:00

If you are no longer able to foster, please notify the Foster Care Program Manager to be removed from our program. If you currently have a foster pet in your care, please contact the Foster Care Program Manager to make plans to return the animal (and all supplies). We require a one (1) week notice to remove an animal.

What if I have a veterinarian appointment but I can’t come that day?2023-10-04T10:29:48-04:00

Please call the Foster Care Coordinator, the Foster Care Program Manager, or the front desk of the Pet Health Center as soon as possible. The phone number for the Pet Health Center is 516-883-2000.

Can I bring my other animals to see an Animal League veterinarian?2017-05-10T20:40:00-04:00

Sorry, no — only Animal League-owned animals (foster animals). However, we do have an affordable veterinarian care Pet Health Center at the Animal League. Their phone number is 516-883-2000, or you can email them at [email protected].

Can I bring my foster pet to my own veterinarian?2023-10-04T10:28:51-04:00

No. If you bring your foster animal to an outside veterinarian, we will not cover or reimburse you for the expenses. North Shore Animal League America is a non-profit organization and cannot cover the cost of another vet; the animal must come back here for care. Our medical center is open from 10AM – 6PM every day. The last appointment for the day is scheduled at 5:30pm.

How many animals can I foster at once?2017-05-10T20:38:48-04:00

It depends on your time, space and the needs of the foster pets — you can foster a whole litter of kittens ranging from 2-8 at a time, or a litter of puppies.

Can my neighbor/niece/nice boy down the block watch my foster pet for me if I go out of town?2023-10-04T10:31:33-04:00

Sorry, no — the foster animal must come back to Animal League America if you go out of town. We can board the animal while you are away and then depending on the animal, you can foster them again once you return.

How long will I have my foster animal?2019-04-08T14:32:34-04:00

It varies! We have both short term foster opportunities that last a couple of weeks and longer term foster opportunities that last over a month or until the animal is adopted.

Do I have to be home all day?2017-05-10T20:36:03-04:00

No. We have older animals (one year and older) that do not need round-the-clock care. If you are seeking to foster a puppy, you do need to be home most of the day.

What do you have to do to foster an animal?2023-10-04T10:34:44-04:00

If you are interested in fostering, please fill out an application here. You must be 21 or older, live in the NYC metro area, and be allowed to have animals in the home. If you live with family or roommates, please check with all of the adults in the household to make sure everybody wants to foster.