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Fostering a shelter pet can be an incredibly valuable and rewarding experience both for the animal and the foster volunteer. No experience is necessary to become a foster care volunteer. There are multiple types of foster situations ranging from orphaned animals who must be bottle fed to adult pets who are recovering from surgeries, and you will have the opportunity to work with our team to determine which types of foster situations fit your lifestyle.

Fostering comes at no cost to the foster parent as all supplies will come with the pet, unless the foster chooses to donate. Medical treatment for foster animals is provided free of cost. If you are interested in fostering a rescue pet with the ASTRO Foundation, please complete and submit the Foster Care Application below. A member of our Administrative Team will contact you within one week to discuss foster opportunities with you in greater detail.

What's required of me as a foster parent?

ASTRO Foundation foster parents commit to providing a safe and loving environment for their foster pet while we prepare them for adoption. The foster parent must be able to transport the foster pet to the ASTRO Adoption Center for vaccination boosters, eventual spay/neuter and for meetings with potential adopters. Fosters must keep a close eye on their foster pet and inform us of any concerns immediately. Fosters must be 18 years of age or older. Families welcome! 

How long do I foster the animal(s)? 

Foster commitments vary based on a few factors, but we can work with most any schedule. Ideally, the foster will commit to caring for the animal(s) the entire time it prepares for adoption. An animal is ready for adoption when it is fixed, vaccinated and microchipped. Scheduling varies based on the age and the veterinary care required by the individual animal, as well as the animals adoptability. 

What if I want to adopt my foster animal(s)?

You can! If you fall in love with your foster pet, just let us know. As soon as the animal is officially available for adoption, you can finalize through our adoption process - completing our Adoption Contract and paying the adoption fee. We also encourage foster parents to look for other adopters. If you have friends and family in the market for a new family member, help us find more forever homes by sharing information about your fosters! 

Why do people usually foster? 

Foster homes help adopters see pets at their best. Some animals can handle a shelter environment better than others. Many get overly excited or too anxious to let their true personality shine when they’re in a kennel. In a foster home, pets can relax, so that potential adopters can get a good sense of how they’d be in a home.

Fostering pets is fun. Taking a walk in the park is fun, but it’s a whole lot more fun strolling with a foster dog at your side. Playing with your foster cat is a great way to unwind and provide the attention she craves. And is there anything cuter than watching young kittens chase their tails (and anything else that moves)?

You can teach pets new skills in your home. Dogs and cats are enthusiastic students. Most of them want to learn new skill that can make it easier for them to find a home. 

You could be a pet matchmaker. Every time you take your foster dog on a walk, or out to a dog-friendly establishment, it’s a chance to connect with potential adopters. 

Put your Instagram account to good use to help animals. Many pets find homes after a foster parent shares a post on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. 

You’ll give them a chance to stretch their (four) legs. Just like us, cats and dogs need exercise to stay healthy and feel good. While shelters do their best to give animals adequate space to be active, there’s often a whole lot more room to play in a home.

You’ll be providing invaluable insight. It’s difficult to know all the important things about a shelter animal, such as how they feel about other animals or kids. This kind of information is vital, says Rachel Fong, foster coordinator at the Best Friends Pet Adoption Center in Utah. “Foster volunteers help us at Best Friends to understand who that dog is as an individual so we can match the dog with the perfect forever home.”

Fostering to know if you’re ready to adopt. Adopting a pet is a big decision. If you’re not sure you’re ready to take that next step, fostering is a great way to test the waters. You’ll gain experience caring for a pet, so that when it’s time for you to adopt, you’ll do so with confidence.

Fostering is a temporary commitment with permanent rewards. If you’re unable to adopt a cat or dog right now but want to open your space (and heart) to a shelter animal, look no further than being a foster parent. Most shelters and rescue organizations offer a variety of foster opportunities that include taking care of a pet short-term or for the weekend.

You’ll be saving more than one life. Every time a shelter animal is able to leave the shelter for a foster home, space is created for another deserving homeless pet who needs a second chance — until eventually, we Save Them All.

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