What is a Foster Home?
Pet foster parents provide temporary homes for shelter pets prior to adoption. Your job as a foster care provider is to prepare your foster pet for his or her forever home.
Which Animals Need Foster Care?
Frederick County Animal Control & Pet Adoption Center (FCAC) always needs foster care providers who can care for kittens during "kitten season" (roughly April through December). Some kittens just need time to grow a bit prior to adoption. Others are very young nursing kittens with their moms. Still others have lost their moms and must be bottlefed.
Behaviorally Challenging Dogs
Some dogs arrive at the shelter improperly socialized with other dogs. What may have started as a fear of other dogs or a desire to protect a previous owner has progressed into aggression toward some or all other dogs, a reaction that is amplified in the stressful shelter environment and can best be addressed in a home.
Other dogs are friendly to all dogs and humans but are large, exuberant dogs who've never been properly socialized. Dogs like this sometimes annoy other dogs (potentially causing a fight) and are often difficult for humans to handle (e.g., pulling on the leash, jumping up on people).
Dogs with either of these behavioral issues—especially large dogs—are the most challenging to care for in the shelter. FCAC is in particular need of foster care providers who have experience working with dogs like this. Have you been through a few obedience courses with your own "exuberant" dog? Do you have a background in dog training? Do you know—or are you willing to learn—how to use positive reinforcement to modify or manage troubling behavior such as reactivity/aggression toward other dogs? FCAC and FFOCAS can provide refresher training, but some experience working with behaviorally challenging dogs is required.
Scaredy Cats...and Dogs
Some perfectly nice cats simply do not do well in a cage. Some dogs find the noise and chaos of the shelter overwhelming. These animals need a little emotional TLC that they just can't get in the shelter.
Some animals who have had a surgical procedure or an illness need to recuperate in a home.
Thinking about Fostering?
If you'd like to become a foster care provider for Frederick County Animal Control & Pet Adoption Center (FCAC), please download this application or pick up a paper copy at the shelter today. Fill out the application and either drop it off at the shelter or email it to FCAC's kennel supervisor, Steve Matthews (firstname.lastname@example.org). Steve and other staff will be happy to answer any questions.