Fostering a Pet



What do pet fosters do?

Pet fosters are very much like child foster parents. They care for a homeless pet as if he was their own until he gets adopted. Shelter environments can be extremely stressful for animals. It is much more comfortable for them to stay in a home environment. They are able to get more individualized care in someone's home. It also gives them better socialization skills, which makes them a more well-adjusted pet. The foster parent is able to learn about the pet's personality, likes, and dislikes so that he can be better matched to the right forever home. Most importantly, pet fosters save lives!


If you join our foster program, we will match you with a suitable pet to foster. For example, if you have a female dog who does not get along with other females, we will only have you foster male dogs. If you work full time and cannot care for young puppies/kittens, we will only have you foster adult animals. You will be a part of the adoption process to determine if an applicant is a suitable match for your foster pet. You will then get to experience the joy of helping a homeless animal find a loving "furever" family of his own.


All veterinary care is paid for by P.A.W.S.  P.A.W.S. will also provide you with food, litter, a carrier, as well as any other supplies or equipment you need for your foster pet.


How long will I keep a pet?

It's impossible to predict how long an animal will remain in foster care. Some pets are adopted within 24 hours of becoming available. Others wait years for a home. P.A.W.S. does not euthanize an animal for taking too long to be adopted. If you cannot commit to this kind of unpredictable long-term care, we still need your help! You can pet-sit for a week or a weekend for another foster family who is going on vacation. Perhaps you can care for a mama cat and her litter until the kittens are weaned. Maybe you are set up to care for a dog who is undergoing heartworm treatment and needs to be away from excitement of other dogs. Just let us know what you can commit to.


What if I get attached?

Getting attached to your foster pet is normal. After all, we do this because we love animals! The most common question we are asked is how can we give them up. The answer is simple. It saves lives! It is hard to say goodbye to a pet we've fallen in love with, but the alternative is even sadder. We get the satisfaction of helping a previously lost or unwanted animal find a loving forever home. That makes it all worth it. The trick is to get attached with velcro and not glue.


If you do decide that you can't give up an animal, that's ok, too. Foster families can go through the adoption process and pay the adoption fee just like any other adopter.


How do I become a pet foster?

If you decide you would like to foster one of our animals, please send us an email at We are always in need of more fosters. P.A.W.S. appreciates your help in animal welfare. Another, opportunity would be to come to our Adoption Center during Open Hours and talk with a P.A.W.S volunteer for more information.

1224 W Main St •  Greenfield, IN 46140  •  pawshancock1 [ at ]