What does it take to become a VHS foster home?
People with flexible schedules:
The foster applicant will ideally be at home for a good portion of the day (i.e.: homebodies, retirees, people who work from home…) The reason for this is that some of our dogs going in to foster may have health/medical/anxiety issues and it benefits them to have companionship in their new space.
The right space:
What does this look like? For some animals, we need homes with secure, fully fenced yards and other times a condo or suite will be just what we need. It’s always dependant on the needs of the animal, first.
Location, location, location!
Our foster homes, generally, need to be located within Greater Victoria. Why? This is where our VHS team coordinates adoptions, support for foster homes, events to showcase puppies and ensures animals have access to vet care.
How to ensure your home is the right fit:
We conduct home checks of all foster homes to confirm that we are placing animals in safe, savvy homes and vice versa. As we review foster applications, we will likely ask for photos or video to streamline the process to ensure your home is set up to welcome a new foster animal.
**Please note during the COVID-19 crisis we are conducting all of our preliminary home checks virtually.**
Access to a vehicle, because when’s the last time you met a dog with a valid driver’s license?
We rely on our fosters to transport their foster animals to vet, grooming and other appointments as needed.
Ultimately, we’re looking for safety:
When it comes to other pets in your home, we need to know if it’s going to be a great (not just tolerable) match before placing a foster animal in your home or under your care. We will consider placing our animals in homes with existing dogs/cats; however, we will need to confirm they are social, calm and well-balanced to ensure the safety of all animals — yours included.
Can you give the animal enough time and attention?
While fostering is an amazingly rewarding thing to do, please understand it is also a LOT of work, a commitment, full of ups and downs. The reality is, most of the animals that come into our care, have suffered some sort of trauma, neglect, or some combination of both.
And, we don’t always know a lot about their past…
They’re kind of like that one friend of yours (you know the one!) quirky — but still lovable. They may not jive with everyone you know, but these dogs and cats are relying on you to make their lives a whole lot better. It’s the ones that have been abandoned, ignored, neglected, discarded and traumatized that need us most, and understandably they come with a few caveats.
As a foster home you can expect to:
Have a few days of trying to ‘figure each other out’, while working towards gaining an animal’s trust with kindness and patience. Transport an animal to/from vet appointments.
We ask our foster homes to send a write-up and a few photos of their foster animal for when we post them for adoption.
Our team will provide the basics including donated food, litter, a crate, and veterinary care. Dishes, toys and enrichment in the form of treats and other supplies are not provided.
Most importantly, our foster homes provide our animals with a safe environment, compassion and love.
During fostering, the animal remains under the guardianship of Victoria Humane Society. We rely on foster homes to focus on enhancing and securing each foster animal’s safety and well-being.
Any pets of your family’s own at your home will need to have current vaccinations. It’s important to understand that welcoming a foster animal into your home presents possible risks – from their health and behaviour, for other animals, other people, yourself and your family.
Location update: with our resources and volunteer team based in Victoria, BC, we are only able to accept applications for foster homes located south of, and including, Duncan on Vancouver Island.
Thank you for helping animals who need us. VHS is actively seeking foster homes for large breed dogs (including retired sled dogs, pregnant females and litters of puppies).
How to Apply
Click on the ‘Apply to Foster’ button below to fill out and submit an online form.
If your application aligns with our rescue team’s current needs, a VHS Volunteer Coordinator will connect with you via email or phone. During the COVID-19 crisis, we are receiving a higher volume of foster applications, which is wonderful to see our community rallying to support us along with the animals who need our help. We are so thankful of your interest in fostering and our volunteers are working hard to process applications that match the needs of our animals.
We conduct home checks with our foster homes to confirm that we are placing animals in safe, savvy homes and vice-versa.**During COVID-19, we are conducting all of our foster home checks virtually** and will request photos/video of your home to streamline the process invite you to a phone interview to discuss the fostering process.
If your application is approved, we will invite you to our network of foster homes and provide you with a copy of our Foster Agreement. Once you have signed and returned the Foster Agreement, we will then be able call on you to help when an animal in need comes into our care.
Can you answer yes to the following questions?
Are you prepared to manage an ‘imperfect’ animal?
Are you able to commit to 1 -3 months of fostering?
Is your home set up to safely and securely handle the type of animal(s) you are applying to foster?
Once they are adopted by a new family, will you be prepared to have your foster animal go to their forever home?
Apply to Foster
Here’s what happens once you submit an application:
- VHS Foster Program Coordinators review each application and consider applicants who are a match with animals currently seeking foster homes.
- If your application is a match, we’ll follow up with an email to request photos/video of your home.
- We will arrange a phone call to discuss our foster program and learn more about your experience with animals.
During the COVID-19 crisis, we have been receiving plenty of applications and messages from people looking to foster. These are interesting times and while we currently do not have many animals in care, our needs will likely change in the coming months.
VHS volunteers receive many adoption and foster applications on a weekly basis. Due to limited resources, only applications that are a match for our foster program will be contacted.
Foster applications are kept on file and our volunteers will be working through processing applications as time allows. We truly appreciate you applying to foster an animal in need. Thank you for your support!
— updated May, 2020