Thank you for your interest in our VCAS Foster Care Program! Foster Parents provide an essential role as a temporary home for shelter pets while they await adoption. Good foster care candidates are animals are who are: experiencing anxiety, are shy, healing from medical problems, are pregnant, injured, older, terminally ill, or who simply need a quiet place to rest and rejuvenate.
The majority of animals who enter our Foster Care Program each year are underage or underweight kittens, many of whom required around-the-clock bottle feeding. Foster Parents are also needed for large-breeds dogs (i.e., Shepherds, Huskies and Pit Bull type dogs) who are all-too-often overlooked because of their breed and, over time, these large-breed dogs can develop behavior issues due to their length of time in a kennel. This is where we need experienced Foster Parents. Will you join us in saving lives?
Dog Foster Parent Requirements:
Kitten Foster Parent Requirements:
How to Become a Foster Parent:
TAP/CLICK HERE to submit an online application. Next, check your email for a link to the foster and volunteer orientation videos. If you have not received an email, please check your spam folder. All prospective foster parents are required to watch all foster and volunteer orientation videos. These videos will cover the goals and policies of VCAS, as well as explain foster and volunteer opportunities. Please note: You do not have to become an on-site shelter volunteer to become a foster parent.
After watching the Adult Dog or Adult Cat videos, please sign-up for a ‘Matchmaking Appointment’ with the Foster Care Coordinator to select your first foster animal! Those interested in fostering kittens must sign-up to attend the Underaged Kitten Training session with the Foster Care Coordinator. These appointments can be made through links you have received in your welcome email. All VCAS Foster Families are required to follow all guidelines for animal handling set forth in the Foster Orientation Training and Volunteer Training materials.
If you also wish to become an on-site volunteer, please TAP/CLICK here to visit our Volunteer page.
Selecting Animals to Foster:
The good new is, most shelter animals are excellent candidates for foster! The only caveat is that foster candidates are only animals who need foster care. We don’t need foster parents for little fluffy animals who will likely get adopted quickly! The Foster Care Coordinator will assist you in selecting shelter animals who need placement.
“Goodbye” is the goal!
Fostering is a temporary situation and letting go of one foster kitty means you’ll be able to help another. But it can still be hard to say goodbye. Thankfully, our foster team is here to help you through it. Every adoption saves one life, but a dedicated foster parent can save lots of lives by caring for many kitties who need extra help to find their own new homes. Goodbyes are tough, but oh-so-rewarding too!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Fostering is flexible. Timelines might differ depending on the type of animal you are fostering and their needs.
Adult dogs: From one (1) day to several months. Foster parents can take dogs for day trips or weekend sleepovers. These experiences can be very beneficial for long term or stressed dogs. Fosters can also choose to foster dogs longer term; from a couple of weeks to even months. Some foster parents choose to foster dogs until they get adopted. The length of time you foster an animal is up to you. If you are having difficulty finding an adopter, please let us know, we can help you market them. Send us photos or videos for us to post on social media along with the best way you wish people to contact you.
Adult cats: From one (1) week to several months. Some cats are frightened or sick and may just need a week or two (2) in a foster home to heal and feel safe. Other cats who have a very hard time living in a kennel, may need a foster parent who can keep them until they find an adoptive family.
Kittens: From 1 – 8 weeks. Kittens only need to stay in foster homes until they are 1.5 pounds and/or 8 weeks old. These are the two (2) important requirements for spay or neuter surgery. Another requirement is health. Cats who appear sick cannot be place under anesthesia for spay or neuter surgery.
Foster parents are in charge of marketing and promoting their animals for adoption but they are not alone. VCAS has a wide reach on social media and can help promote shelter pets in foster care. Send photos and video to the Foster Care Coordinator to help promote Foster pets. Foster parents can also bring their foster animals to VCAS adoption events.
Foster pets still appear on our website even if they are home with you. Your email address is listed online so people can contact you if they are interested in your animal. Please check your spam folder so you don’t miss an interested party!
NOTE: If someone reaches out to you, interested in your foster pet, never meet at someone’s home. Always meet in a public place like a coffee shop. You can always meet at the shelter for the meet-and-greet.
None at this time. You can foster animals as often as you would like. Our program is very flexible in this way.
If you are having problems with the application process, please email the Foster Care Coordinator for assistance.
Yes, you can! There are, however, some rules and guidelines that you will need to follow regarding your foster animal, but having other pets in your home does not disqualify you from becoming a foster.
Ventura County Animal Services is a proud Maddie’s Fund partner! Maddie’s Fund has provided grant funds that support our life-saving efforts.