Foster a Pet
Foster families feed, socialize, train, and sometimes medicate the animals in their care for the duration of the foster period. They offer a safe, comfortable, stable environment, and provide tender loving care. Depending on the animal(s) in your care, fostering might also include meet-and-greets with potential adopters.
Intrigued? Read through the list of frequently asked questions to discover more about fostering animals in need or download and complete our Foster Parent Program Application.
What kind of animals can I foster?
The Naperville Area Humane Society accepts cats and dogs of all ages and sizes. Those most often in need of foster care are pregnant cats and dogs, orphaned kittens, and puppies too young for adoption. We have expanded our foster care program to include adult cats and dogs currently available for adoption, but who need a break from the stress of shelter life.
How long will I have my foster animal(s)?
It varies and depends on the needs of the animal. The foster period can be as short as a few days or as long as a few months. To accommodate vacations and other plans that might take you away from home for a period of time, long-term care animals might reside in several foster homes until their time in foster care is complete. The Naperville Area Humane Society's animal care team works with you to coordinate a schedule around your needs.
Will fostering cost me anything?
There is an initial $50 program fee:
- $25 is for the foster license through the Illinois Department of Agriculture. The foster family is required to pay for the license the first year, and the Naperville Area Humane Society pays the fee every year after.
- $25 is for the general volunteer program fee. There is an annual $10 renewal fee after the first year.
When you pick up your foster animals at the Naperville Area Humane Society, we can provide a small collection of supplies (e.g., food, bowl, cat litter). We would appreciate, however, your purchasing additional supplies as you need them so our shelter supply is not depleted. Any expenses fosters incur toward the care of Naperville Area Humane Society foster animals can be declared as a tax-deductible donation.
Any medical care or visits to the veterinary hospital are paid for directly by the Naperville Area Humane Society. Foster parent volunteers must, however, use Naperville Area Humane Society partner hospitals.
I have my own pets. May I still foster?
Yes! Many of our foster parents have their own pets, but you will need to provide proof that your own pets are up to date on core vaccines. It is best, though, to keep your foster animals separate from your own animals. If you would like to introduce your foster animals to your own pets, we ask that you speak with a Naperville Area Humane Society animal care staff member first.
What if it is not working out?
We want to ensure our animals and our foster parent volunteers are happy. If an animal is not working out for you, we will work with you to overcome the problem, or we will search for another foster home where the animal might be a better fit.
Ready to foster?
If you have additional questions about our foster volunteer program, please contact our Volunteer Foster Coordinator, Michelle Lenz, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you think you are ready to become part of our life-saving foster community, please download and complete the Foster Parent Program Application. Once you have completed the application, please scan and email it to our Foster Coordinator, Michelle Lenz, at email@example.com, hand-deliver it, or send it through the mail.