*Note: The foster care program is not currently accepting new applications. Please check back in late spring.

Foster Care Program


The goal of the foster care program is to care for animals that are not currently adoptable until they become adoptable.

Animals eligible for foster care:

  • Kittens under 2 lbs of weight and 2 months of age
  • Kittens requiring socialization
  • Nursing queens with kittens
  • Cats or kittens that are ill or injured
  • Adult cats who have spent too long here; they need a break
  • Pups under 2 months of age
  • Pups requiring socialization
  • Nursing dogs with pups
  • Dogs or pups that are ill or injured
  • Dogs who have been here too long; they need a break
  • Dogs requiring socialization
  • Pets in the Safe Housing Program

Many people want to know how long they will have the animal in question. Many times we cannot provide a definitive answer, but here are some guidelines:

Foster Situation
Weeks Involved
Daily Hours of Care
Weaned Kittens 1 – 5 Weeks 3 Daily Hours
URI/Lack of Space 2 – 3 Weeks 1-2+ Daily Hours
Mom with Kittens 2 – 8 Weeks 3 Daily Hours
Weaned Puppies 1-4 Weeks 3 – 6 Daily Hours
Medical / Injury 1 – 2 Weeks 1 – 3 Daily Hours
Orphaned Puppies 6 – 8 Weeks 8 Daily Hours
Behavior Cases 1 – 2 Weeks 3 Daily Hours
Mom with Puppies 2 – 8 Weeks 3 Daily Hours


Usually these animals come in periodically for reevaluation by staff and are either returned to the shelter or made available for adoption from the foster home when they are deemed adoptable.

If at any time you can no longer keep the animals in your home, please call the shelter to arrange to return them. If you can take them back at some point let us know (leaving on a weekend trip) otherwise we will find another foster home for them.

Responsibilities as a Foster Volunteer

Keep your foster animals safe and comfortable. Treat them as if they were your own pets. Fresh food and water every day, clean litter boxes for cats, daily walks or exercise for dogs, etc…Cats and kittens are not allowed to roam free outside!

Monitor their health and behavior. Please keep us apprised of the situation with your foster animals. If they are ill or injured, let us know how they are recuperating. If they become ill, please let us know so we can begin treatment.

Note: Do not seek medical care on your own for your foster animals! If care is needed, call Heartland to arrange this. We can usually get vet assistance at a reduced rate or for free. We cannot reimburse you if you seek care on your own!

Socialize! Spend time with them; all animals need daily companionship, some more than others.

Financial help. Heartland has supplies for you to use but, as most of our supplies are donated, anything you can buy for your animals is a donation

to us. Keep track of what you spend for a tax deduction.

So, Why Foster?

You can have temporary pets without the commitment

Baby Animals…need we say more?

Children can experience the miracle of birth without adding to pet-overpopulation

Make a difference; help us expand our walls and save lives!

Important contact information

Call (541)757-9000  or email juanita@heartlandhumane.org

Foster Care Application 

Foster application is currently closed. Foster opportunities will open again approximately in late spring of 2019.