Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ode to Foster Care!

Why is this dog being fostered, you ask?
Is she naughty, sick, did she have a rough past?
No, my friend, foster is no scarlet letter!
She came here just fine but she’ll leave foster better
In foster she’ll learn to live in a home
To go potty outside, to enjoy a nice bone
She’ll learn, if she was scared, she should not be afraid
For her foster family has been specially trained
To show her that people can be patient and caring
That with love and affection, they needn’t be sparing
Perhaps she’s learned to live well with cats...
Or children, or bicyclists, or people in hats!
Perhaps she’s learned to be good for the groomer
To sit, stay and down, and maintain her good humor
While sporting pom-poms or a nice lion cut
After all, you’ll recall, she’s no ordinary mutt
She’ll soon be an alum of our great foster program
And we’ll fondly recall how we knew her “back then”
So, when you next spy a doggie in foster care
Don’t shake your head, don’t sigh in despair
Rejoice! For that pup is well on her way
To a permanent home, forever to stay!

Foster Care - Frequently Asked Questions (and answers!)

Question: Why do animals enter the foster program?

Answer: For a variety of reasons. The most common of which are…
  • They are too young to be adopted
  • The Animal Care Center (ACC) is full and we need to use all available resources to house animals They are shy and would benefit from round-the-clock socialization
  • They became stressed at the ACC and would benefit from the routine of a home environment They are recovering from a medical procedure

Question: How long do animals stay in foster care?

Answer: In many cases, the animal is adopted from foster care. In that case, the answer is – as long as it takes! In the event that the animal returns to the ACC to be adopted, there is no set duration of stay in foster care; it depends on a variety of factors, such as…
  • The age and size of the animal when it entered the foster program
  • The capacity at the ACC at a given time to receive incoming foster animals
  • The rate of progress of socialization, if fostered for a behavioral reason
  • The rate of progress of recovery, if fostered for a medical reason

Question: Can I become a foster parent so that I can do a trial adoption?

Answer: At present, we do not offer trial adoptions. The idea behind our foster program is to use foster families, who have received special training from HSSV staff, to help as many animals as possible! This means that foster families sign up for duty with the understanding that their goal is to help us find an adopter for the animal; not necessarily to adopt the animal themselves. For our veteran foster families (with their agreement, of course), we often have their next animal “on-deck” the moment their previous foster is adopted! Of course, if a foster parent falls head over heels in love and wants to adopt their foster animal, we are happy for them and will not intervene!

If a client is nervous about making a hasty adoption decision or not being properly prepared, the best remedy is to meet with an HSSV Adoption Counselor to learn more about the adoption process and the support mechanisms available to them, should they choose to adopt. You can contact an Adoption Counselor at 408.262.2133, ext. 150 or

Question: How do I become a foster parent?

Answer: The fastest way to become a foster parent is to fill out the foster application on our web site. You can also contact a member of our Special Needs team. For cats and kittens, please contact Christina Traughber @ (408) 262-2133 ext. 186; for dogs, please contact Casaundra Cruz @ ext. 183.

Question: How do I adopt a foster animal?

Answer: Great question! Typically, only dogs are available for adoption from foster homes. Cats usually return to the ACC to be adopted; in which case you would follow normal walk-in procedures, listed here. For dogs that are adoptable through our foster program, please follow the steps below:
  • Complete our foster dog adoption questionnaire, using the following link. Call our Canine Foster Coordinator, Casaundra Cruz, at 408.262.2133 ext. 183 to learn more about the dogs in foster care. If Casaundra is not available, you may also speak to Kristin Hoffman @ ext. 184 or Jeri Seiden @ ext. 185.
  • Arrange, with a Foster Coordinator, to introduce all two and four-legged family members to the dog to ensure that everyone gets along. From that point on, normal adoption protocol (see previous link) will apply.
  • We have a weekly adoption showcase featuring our foster dogs every Saturday at the ACC from 12:00 noon until 2:00 PM. Please feel free to stop by!

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