Foster FAQ

What is a Foster Home?

A foster home is a temporary home for pets in our rescue while they are awaiting placement in a permanent home.  Foster families provide, food, care (including sometimes medical care) and love.

What types of animals need to be fostered?

We need temporary homes for all of our rescued animals including under aged puppies and kittens.

The rescued animals include:

  • Orphaned kittens and puppies needing to be bottle fed
  • Mother cat or dog with nursing kittens or puppies
  • Under-aged, self-feeding kittens and puppies (4-8 weeks old)
  • Animals recovering from injury or illness (may need medication)
  • Animals that are mildly sick; such as Kennel Cough in dogs or Upper Respiratory Infection in cats. (may need medication)
  • Healthy adult animals waiting for spay/neuter surgery and a new home.
  • All animals once they are healthy and have been spayed/neutered.

Can I pick the type of animal I bring into my home?

You indicate the type of animal (dog/cat/adult/young, etc.) you are comfortable with temporarily welcoming into your home. Together with the foster coordinator, we will decide which animal(s) you take home.

Why do your animals need foster homes?

Our animals typically are transported from rural shelters who do not have the resources to care for and find homes for the animals we rescue. Our rescued dogs/cats/kittens/puppies require the help of foster homes while they receive needed medical care, a secure happy environment and await adoption.

What animals will need my help?

Our young kittens and puppies need to stay in foster until they are old enough to be spayed and neutered, at which time they are ready for adoption. Older dogs and cats stay in a foster home until they are adopted. What are the benefits of fostering?

Being a pet foster family has rewards beyond the essential value of helping a pet in need find a new home. For some, it is a chance to have an animal companion without a lifetime commitment, or for those who want to adopt a pet, but cannot.  For others, it is the special challenge of helping an animal recover from an illness or injury, or who want to volunteer directly with animals but lack the time or inclination to do so in a shelter environment. It can be a welcome relief from loneliness for seniors, full of the joy of giving extra TLC to kittens and puppies too young to be adopted or to try new companions for an existing pet.

What are the responsibilities of a Foster Family?

Feed, socialize, love, groom, introduce basic training, and care for the animals as if they were your own.  Bottle feed/medicate special needs animals.

Bring your foster animal(s) to scheduled vet appointments. Observe and report any problems with the animal to the Foster Coordinator.

Once cleared for adoption, bring your foster animal to an off-site location to be introduced to pre-approved potential adopters.

How old you need to be to foster?

Foster parents must be at least 18 years old.  Children under 18 can foster with permission from parents or legal guardian.

How much time does fostering take on a daily basis?

Time commitment typically ranges from an hour or two each day to as much as eight hours a day if you are bottle-feeding infants.

What if I already own pets?

Prior to bringing a foster pet into your home, we require that you consult with your veterinarian to ensure that all of your personal pets are healthy and up-to-date on all vaccines.

Can I let my foster dog play with my personal pets?

We don’t advise having your animals interact with foster animals. Once an older dog or cat has been in a separate area of your home it may be possible to carefully allow them to interact after consulting about guidelines with MAAC staff.

Will a MAAC representative visit my home?

No, we do not conduct home visits to foster or adopt any animal.

Can I foster a dog if I don’t have a fenced yard?

Always supervise all outdoor activities with the foster dog/puppy. And we ask that you always keep him or her on a leash when you’re on walks.

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 an animal that is age-appropriate with your children. You must also be diligent about providing guidance, instructions and rules to your children about caring for your foster animal.

What are the financial responsibilities associated with fostering?

We will provide you and the animal with a starter amount of food, medications and age appropriate vaccinations, as well as a microchip. Spay/neuter surgery (if applicable) is required for all foster pets prior to being available for adoption.

All additional supplies (toys, formula/bottles, canned food, beds, crates/kennels, carriers, leashes and collars, etc), are available by donation only. The supplies we are able to provide to you depends on our supply of shelter donations. The cost of these items is something you should try to budget for, in the event that we do not have donations at the center.

How long will the animal(s) be in my home?

It depends on the requirements of each individual animal. The guideline include:

Kittens under 8 weeks – Until they are 8 weeks and 2.5 pounds

Puppies under 8 weeks – Until they are 8 weeks and 2.5 pounds

Adult dogs – Until they are spayed/neutered

Adult cats – Until they are spayed/neutered


Generally the animals will be with you at least two weeks.  Some pets need more time because of age, illness, injury, or other issues. Prior to sending you home with a foster animal we will discuss the expected length of commitment.

How are foster animals promoted so that they get adopted?

All animals ready for adoption are featured on our website along with photos and descriptions. We encourage our fosters to send us additional photos to include on the website.  Sharing information about your foster animal(s) with friends, family, on social media, etc. helps find them potential new homes.  All MAAC animal adoptions are subject to approved adoption applications.

Can I select a friend to adopt my foster?

We encourage all friends/family etc. to complete an adoption application.

Do adopters come to my house to meet the animal?

Approved potential adopters will not come to your home.  We will arrange an off-site meeting place coordinated by MAAC staff and the foster parent.

Can I name my foster animal?

Our foster animals will come to you with names. We ask that you do not change the name we have given them while fostering as their name corresponds with medical and other important records.

What is a “Foster Fail”?

It’s ideal for foster homes to keep their homes available for the next animal needing a temporary home; however we realize that sometimes the foster family becomes so attached to their foster animal that they want to adopt it. We hope that the foster family will be able to continue helping our homeless animals once they have their newly adopted rescue animal settled into their loving home.

Can I adopt my foster animal?

As long as you meet the shelter requirements necessary for adoption, foster parents have first choice to adopt their foster pet. For priority adoption consideration, fosters need to complete the adoption application prior to the animal being offered for adoption through our website.  All regular MAAC adoption paperwork (application and adoption contract) is required and our regular adoption fees apply.

What type of training do I receive?

We require that you complete our online foster orientation and we are available to answer questions. We have links from our website to many informational videos regarding caring for different animals

We will provide additional information/support for animals requiring bottle feeding, medication or other special care.

Do I need to have prior medical knowledge or expertise?

No prior medical knowledge is required.  If medication is required for your foster animal, we will cover those details with you so you are comfortable and able to administer it accurately.

What if my foster animal becomes sick?

If a foster animal becomes sick, foster parents should contact the Foster Coordinator.  If the animal needs to be seen by a veterinarian, prior approval is needed before being seen by one of our rescue veterinarian partners.

What if my foster animal shows signs of aggression?

Contact the foster coordinator immediately with any concerns about safety!

What if I am not longer able care for my foster?

If your situation changes and you are no longer able to foster you animal(s), we ask that you provide us with as much notice as possible so that we can find another foster home to transfer the animal to.

What if I go on vacation or have a business trip?

If you know in advance that you are planning a vacation or have an upcoming business trip we ask that you wait until those commitments have passed before fostering one of our animals. If circumstances require an immediate change we need as much notice as possible to allow us to find another foster home.