Types of Fostering
- Lunch Date (dogs only)
This short-term fostering commitment is a great way to give a dog a few hours of fun, away from the shelter. Just stop by the shelter and we’ll match you with a dog that you are comfortable with and would benefit from a “lunch date”.
Lunch Dates usually last 2-4 hours and Lunch Date Fosters typically take their foster dog on a walk for exercise, home for quiet time, or an outdoor patio or cafe. This type of fostering is ideal for someone with limited time or can’t bring a foster dog into their home.
- Overnight (dogs only)
Sometimes a quiet night in a home can do wonders for a shelter dog. This night away from the shelter gives them time to decompress and get caught up on sleep. This short-term fostering commitment is ideal for weekend warriors who can’t commit to long-term fostering.
- Short-Term (cats and dogs)
Short-term fostering typically lasts a week or two and is helpful to us when:
Long-Term Behavior (cats and dogs)
- We are close to capacity and need to open some kennel space.
- An animal is not ready for adoption yet.
- We are responding to an emergency such as taking a large amount of animals all at once such as in the case of hoarding or natural disaster.
- An animal could benefit from a break from the shelter.
- We want to get to know the personality of an animal outside the shelter.
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 receive training from our Dog and Cat Program Managers with detailed instructions on what each animal needs to work on. With a plan in place and a support team behind them, our animals with behavior issues have shown great results in their foster homes! 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 wants to make a huge impact for a shelter animal.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. Our Long-term Medical fosters receive training and support from our Medical team, including 24/7 access to our Medical Foster Coordinator.
Long-term Medical foster usually last 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.Animal Control Cases (cats and dogs)
We often have animals in our care who are in the midst of lengthy court cases as their owners are being prosecuted for various animal care violations. In these cases, the animals involved are subject to a long period of limbo and are simply waiting for the court proceedings to complete. Moving these animals to foster makes for a better life for the animal and keeps our kennel space clear for other animals.
This type of fostering is great for someone who wants to show an animal what a loving home looks like. The foster is responsible for keeping the status of the animal confidential and strictly following Cincinnati Animal CARE rules and policies for the safety of the animal, shelter and the foster home.
Please note that all Animal Control animals with open cases are evaluated for temperament and health before being sent to foster. If it is determined that an animal is dangerous due to the conditions they were kept in, Cincinnati Animal CARE will not seek foster for that particular animal.Special Boarding (cats and dogs)
As a service to our community, we sometimes board animals whose owner temporarily cannot care for them. This may be due to homelessness, domestic violence or other life-altering events.
In order to provide this service to the community, while keeping our kennel space open to homeless animals in need, we ask for foster homes to take in these pets. Special Boarding situations usually last between 4-8 weeks and is a great option for foster homes who want to make an impact not only with animals, but with the people in your community.Puppies
An animal shelter is a dangerous place for an un-vaccinated puppy. When puppies come in to 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 2-4 weeks and gives the puppy time to become fully vaccinated before entering the shelter environment.Kittens
An animal shelter is a dangerous place for an un-vaccinated kitten. When kittens to 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 they hit 2.2lbs which is around 8-10 weeks of age.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 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 the application and a shelter representative will contact you shortly. Thanks so much for helping us save more lives!
Complete Foster Application
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