Foster homes are hugely important to the shelter. When an animal goes into a foster home, it frees up a spot in the shelter for another animal. At the same time, foster animals are able to live in a comfortable, safe environment, which makes them much happier and more likely to be adopted. Foster homes are always needed, but there is always an urgent need during the spring and summer months.
While this is called "kitten season" among shelters and rescue groups, there are usually more dogs at the shelter at this time, too. It's hard to keep up with this influx.
Fostering Cats with BCAS
How to Start
- Contact our cat foster team at firstname.lastname@example.org to start or for more information.
- Complete a foster application and email it to the cat foster team.
- Fosters must have an area in their home where shelter cats or kittens can be kept isolated and separate from other pets in the home for a minimum period of two weeks. This can be a bathroom, spare bedroom, laundry room, etc.
- Fosters must be able to commit to a minimum of two weeks of fostering for kittens for most cases.
- Fosters must maintain communication with the cat foster team regarding health or behavioral issues, and must be available to bring foster cats back to the shelter on a regular basis for routine medical care.
- Other requirements vary based on the circumstances of the individual foster animals and will be discussed with the foster.
Additional Cat Fostering Resources
- Friends of BCAS/BCAS cat foster manual including medical resources, sample charts, a recommended supply list, and more.
- Cat foster cheat sheet: bullet point info handout for new fosters picking up kittens.
- Caring for neonatal kittens videos from Maddiesfund.org
- Checking for dehydration in cats videos: healthy example and sick example
- If you're fostering a cat, you can use this template to make business cards for your foster animal. (Click on the link below the word "Document:" and the template will open in Word). You can add your animal's picture and your contact information. You can give a card to potential adopters that show an interest while at adoption events, the shelter or out and about in the community.
To Schedule Your Foster Kitten for Spay/Neuter Clinic
Call the shelter at 609-265-5073 to schedule spay/neuter surgery for your foster kitten.
BCAS Vet Tech Foster Clinic Hours
- Monday: EMERGENCY ONLY
- Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m.-noon in the shelter's mulipurpose room or lobby
- Thursday: 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the shelter's multipurpose room or lobby
- Emergencies (during shelter operational hours, but outside foster clinic hours): always call the shelter at 609-265-5073 explain the situation, and ask for the next step.
- Emergencies (while shelter is closed): Consult your foster manual for contact information during off-hours.
- If you feel it is necessary for your foster animal to been seen by a shelter vet, please email the vet techs at BCAStechs@gmail.com to set up an appointment.
Fostering Dogs with BCAS
We need foster homes for dogs who are more difficult to adopt such as seniors, medical cases and behavioral issues. You will be responsible for food and supplies, including leash, collar and toys. Minor medical needs will be covered by the shelter and/or Friends of the Burlington County Animal Shelter. You will be expected to help your foster dog find a permanent home by providing updated bio information for online marketing, bringing your foster dog to the shelter and PetSmart adoption days for exposure, making arrangements for potential adopters to meet the dog at your home, etc.
- To start, register for the dog volunteer foster orientation class. Click here to RSVP.
- Then complete a Burlington County Animal Shelter foster application. Be sure to include your email address and phone number. Bring your application with you to the orientation class or email it to dog foster coordinator Debbie at email@example.com. If you will be fostering a dog owned by the Friends of the Burlington County Animal Shelter, you must complete a Friends of Burlington County Animal Shelter dog foster application. The dog foster coordinator will tell you which foster application you need to complete. When you take a Friends of BCAS owned dog into foster, you'll be asked to sign a Friends of BCAS foster care agreement and possibly a behavior release.
- Review the volunteer dog foster manual. You may want to bookmark the link for reference.
- If you're fostering a dog, you can use this template to make business cards for your foster animal. (Click on the link below the word "Document:" and the template will open in Word). You can add your animal's picture and your contact information. You can give a card to potential adopters that show an interest while at adoption events, the shelter or out and about in the community.
- We highly recommend the two-week shut-down program for foster dogs. Please familiarize yourself with the basics of the two-week shut-down program.
- Once your foster dog has been in your home for a couple weeks, please fill out this dog profile form and email it to Debbie at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note: the dog profile form is a fillable PDF document. Depending on the browser you're using, you may be prompted to open the file in Acrobat so you can see the form fields. If that happens, open the file in Acrobat, fill in the fields after each question and then save the file to your computer and email it to Debbie.
Additional Dog Fostering Resources
- For a better idea of why a dog foster program and foster volunteers are critical to saving more lives at our community shelter, watch this webinar: Innovative Fostering: Saving More Dogs with Behavioral Challenges.
- Behavior tips, games and training guides for your foster dog: Center for Shelter Dogs
- Marketing ideas to help your foster dog find a home: