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

  • Kittens and puppies under 2 months of age
  • Kittens and puppies requiring socialization
  • Rabbits during quarantine period (10 days)
  • Small animals in need of socialization
  • Nursing cats and dogs with young
  • Cats or kittens that are ill or injured
  • Adult animals who need a break
  • Animals that are ill or injured
  • Pets in the Safe Housing Program

Our fosters also help care for animals when there is no space for them at our shelter.

Time Commitment:

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 Kittens1 – 5 Weeks3 Daily Hours
URI/Lack of Space2 – 3 Weeks1-2+ Daily Hours
Mom with Kittens2 – 8 Weeks3 Daily Hours
Weaned Puppies1-4 Weeks3 – 6 Daily Hours
Medical / Injury1 – 2 Weeks1 – 3 Daily Hours
Orphaned Puppies6 – 8 Weeks8 Daily Hours
Behavior Cases1 – 2 Weeks3 Daily Hours
Mom with Puppies2 – 8 Weeks3 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!

Our foster resource page can be used as additional information when fostering. Please reach out to the shelter if you have questions.

Foster applications will reopen for Kitten Season 2024 soon! Please check back in early spring!

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