Foster Home Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers) about being a Humane Society of Northeast Georgia Foster Home Volunteer.
1. Is it difficult to say goodbye to your foster animal?
Foster volunteers definitely need the ability to say goodbye. It can be tough, but making a difference isn’t always easy. Please remember that by fostering, you are providing a temporary safe haven and letting go of one’s foster pet enables you to help another animal in need. Please know that although each adoption saves lives, a great foster parent can save many lives too. This is done by socializing and rehabilitating pets that might need extra time and care to be ready for a new home.
2. Can I adopt my foster animal?
We hope our foster volunteers are choosing to open their home as a demonstration of their deep care and commitment to making a difference in the lives of animals in need. While fostering, you may indeed fall in love and find the perfect companion for your family and our staff is available to counsel you should you wish to complete an adoption. However, our volunteer Foster Home program is not a “foster to adopt” program. The animals needing to go into a caring foster home are often medically fragile, nursing, pregnant, or in need of a behavioral respite. We do not send healthy, adoptable animals into foster care. If you would like to know more about our return policy, please call 770-532-6617.
We discourage new fosters from joining the program simply to try out different animals in their homes before adoption. Many people who foster simply to look for a pet of their own often do not stay fosters after they adopt and we must ensure all our staff time and training resources are dedicated to those who truly wish to foster- for “fostering’s sake.”
3. What if a friend or family member wants to adopt my foster animal?
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. Please refer interested adopters to our HSNEGA Adoption Coordinator 770.532.6617 to start the adoption conversation.
4. Will I need to provide food or other supplies while the animal(s) are in my care?
The HSNEGA is proud to provide all the necessary supplies and support you will need to care for your foster animal(s) including little things like bowls, bedding, toys, and crates as well as things which could be of bigger expense like food, litter, medication, and all veterinary services. On occasion, you may be asked by HSNEGA staff to purchase something small for your animal in case of emergency. You will always be reimbursed in a timely manner for such requests.
5. Is there a time commitment?
The length of foster assignments varies based upon the needs of the animals. You will receive an approximate duration of the fostering period before you commit to any particular animal. If you are unable to host the animal(s) for that length of time, you are welcome to decline the foster assignment.
Given the extensive amount of staff time and foster home training, we do require all new foster homes agree to a one-year commitment and bi-yearly home inspections; however, Foster Home volunteers are only required to have an animal physically in their home for a total 24 days in the year. This time commitment can be broken up any way volunteers would like, based on the animals they choose to foster. Most foster placements are 3-4 weeks based on the care needed.
6. Will a foster animal have accidents or cause damage?
Foster animals, like any other companion animal in your home, may destroy carpeting, drapes, clothing and other valuable items. Preparing your home and the area the foster animal(s) will stay in can prevent most accidents, but not all of them. The HSNEGA is not responsible for damages done to your home or property by HSNEGA foster animals.
7. Do I need to keep foster animals separate from my pets?
Foster animals are required to be isolated from your own companion animals for at least two weeks. A separate room or enclosed area with no carpet will often work best (like a well-ventilated bathroom or laundry room with heating and air).
8. Will the HSNEGA treat my pet if he is injured or becomes sick because of a foster animal?
No, if your animal becomes sick or injured due to interactions with a HSNEGA foster animal, you will be responsible for all medical care required.
9. Are foster animals ever euthanized?
Although we consider our Foster Home volunteers nothing short of miracle workers, sometimes adoption is not an option for animals with some illnesses or behavior problems even after the animal has been in foster care. HSNEGA will determine if other options, including transfer to an animal rescue group, are appropriate and available. Knowing that an animal you have fostered may need to be humanely euthanized can be very hard to handle and can be one of the main reasons fostering can be a difficult volunteer placement at times. Please remember that HSNEGA’s staff is always here for support.
10. I found a litter of kittens/puppies, how do I find them a foster home?
The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia is a private, non-profit animal welfare agency and, as such, we are legally prohibited per Georgia state law from taking strays/found animals directly into our facility. Additionally, animals which are moved into a foster home situation are already under the care of the HSNEGA. Please visit our webpage for SURRENDERING YOUR PET for more information on what to do if you have found an animal.
11. I need community service hours for school and I love animals, but I’m not 18 years old yet. Can I be a Foster Home volunteer?
Teenagers looking to fulfill community service hours for school are eligible to receive credit for hours spent fostering animals. However, due to insurance issues and safety concerns, only individuals who are at least 18 can sign up as a foster parent. If you are under 18 and need to complete community service hours, please visit the VOLUNTEER section of our website for other options to complete your community service requirements.
Young adults and children can help with the foster animals’ in the home, but adults must be the primary caregivers. Talk with your parents to see if fostering will work for your whole family as well as your individual school requirements.