Foster FAQs

What kind of animals is HART trying to place in foster homes: adult dogs, puppies, adult cats, or kittens?
HART is primarily looking for foster homes for adult dogs and cats, although we do sometimes need foster homes for puppies and kittens.

What is involved with fostering puppies or kittens?
We do not break up litters and the foster family must be willing to bring the babies to adoption events every weekend. When puppies and kittens are so young and growing so fast, even skipping a week can make a big difference in our ability to find them adoptive homes. If you are very seriously considering keeping your foster, then sometimes we allow foster-to-adopt situations, but with puppies or kittens, we only allow one week for you to make that decision.

What is expected of me as a Foster parent concerning adoption days?
We encourage you to bring your foster to as many HART adoption days as possible, but you must bring him/her to at least two events each month. Without adoption day visibility, it would be almost impossible to locate permanent homes for the animals.

We ask that you bring your foster charge to the adoption day and then stay with him to show him to potential applicants. Your first-hand knowledge of your foster is an invaluable tool in helping HART locate a successful placement.

Check our Dog Adoption Day Schedule and Cat Adoption Day Schedule for hours and locations.

How long should I expect to have a Foster pet?
The length of stay in foster care varies. We try to leave the animal in the same foster home until he/she is adopted, but if the foster parent must relinquish him/her earlier, we can work with that. Our desire is for the foster parent to prepare the animal for life in a "real" home. Some of our dogs and cats have never had that experience.

If I go on vacation, can I board my Foster pet with HART?
HART will make every effort to work with you when you must go out of town on business or vacation; the key is planning ahead. Space in facilities is not always available, so the situation is handled on a case-by-case basis. Work with the HART Foster Program Coordinator to see what arrangements can be made.

What if I find that I am no longer able to foster?
HART prefers that you foster the dog or cat until we locate a permanent home, but if that is not possible, we will work with you to meet your needs and find other accommodations for the animal.

What happens if my foster needs to go to the vet?
Other than in cases of extreme emergency, HART must approve vet visits, but HART pays for any approved vet visits while the dog or cat is in foster care.

What if my foster has not been spayed or neutered?
If the animal is old enough, you may be asked to have it spayed or neutered while under your care. HART will pay the medical expenses.

If I have the foster for a longer period of time, what do I do about monthly medications such as heartworm preventative?
HART will provide these medications. Work with the Foster Program Coordinator to learn how to obtain them.

If my Foster dog is having behavioral issues, is there someone I can contact for guidance?
Yes. Initially, contact the HART Foster Program Coordinator. She will provide you with assistance or refer you to an appropriate resource.

What do I do if I decide to keep my Foster dog permanently?
If you are fostering with the intent to adopt, please make sure HART is aware of it. If you are fostering and later decide that you want to adopt, inform the Foster Program Coordinator and she will work with you to initiate your adoption request. Although it cannot be guaranteed, HART makes every effort to allow foster families to adopt the foster animals HART has entrusted in their care.

Do I have any say in who adopts my Foster dog?
HART takes the desires of the foster parent into consideration when placing animals into new adoptive homes. While two board members have to sign off on any adoption, the views of foster parents are given great weight in placing the animal and especially in turning down a potential adopter. HART wants the people who know and love the animal best to be absolutely confident it is going to a good home.

What if I have a friend or neighbor who is interested in adopting my Foster dog? Do they need to come to adoption day?
They need to go through the normal adoption process (application, interview, and homecheck) and sometimes going to adoption day expedites that process. HART will, of course, make every effort to take the foster parent’s wishes for placement into consideration. Sometimes it is possible to fill out an application via e-mail and/or have an interview done over the telephone.

What if my Foster dog gets lost?
Follow the steps outlined on the If your Pet is Lost page. Also, immediately contact the HART Foster Program Coordinator.