I need community service hours for school and I love animals, but I’m not 18 years old yet. Can I be a foster parent volunteer?
Teenagers looking to fulfill community service hours for school are eligible to receive credit for hours spent fostering animals. However due to insurance issues and safety concerns, only individuals who are at least 18 can sign up as a foster parent.
Young adults and children can help with the foster animals’ in the home, but adults must be the primary caregivers. Talk with your parents to see if fostering will work for your whole family as well as your individual school requirements.
How often does a foster animal need to be brought in for check-ups?
Foster parent volunteers need to transport animals to HSWC in Johnson City, TN on a regular basis for vaccinations, weight checks and our local veterinary in Johnson City for spay and neuter surgeries. Vaccination appointments and weigh-ins for kittens and puppies are scheduled every two weeks. Veterinarian appointments are scheduled as needed for each animal, generally every 7-14 days.
What if I’m unavailable to foster an animal when you call?
We will simply call another foster volunteer. We want to make sure you feel like you’ll be able to give the time needed, so we don’t pressure you into taking an animal. If you can’t foster this time around, we’ll just call you the next time.
Will a foster animal have accidents or cause damage?
Foster animals, like any other companion animal in your home, may destroy carpeting, drapes, clothing and other valuable items. Preparing your home and the area the animals will stay in can prevent most accidents, but not all of them.
Do I need to keep foster animals separate from my pets?
Foster animals may need to be isolated from your own companion animals. A separate room or enclosed area with no carpet will often work best (like a bathroom or laundry room).
Will HSWC treat my pet if he is injured or becomes sick because of a foster animal?
If your animal becomes sick or injured due to interactions with a HSWC foster animal, you will be responsible for all medical care required.
I love the idea of being a foster volunteer, but I’m worried about how I’ll feel when it’s time for the animal to be adopted.
It can be difficult to let go once you have become emotionally attached to a foster animal. Be prepared for tears and some heartache when your foster animals is adopted. But remember foster care volunteers play a crucial part in helping unwanted animals get to permanent, loving homes they deserve.
Thank you for helping find homes for your foster animals. Please keep in mind however, that the animals will not be available until their medical work, including spay or neuter surgery, is completed. Please refer interested adopters to the HSWC website, www.hswctn.org, to complete and adoption application.
What if I want to adopt the animal I’m fostering?
This can happen when foster parents fall in love with the animals. If you wish to adopt a foster animal, please call the HSWC Foster Care Adoption team to start the adoption conversation. Your foster animal may already have an “adoption hold” for another person. Having available foster homes is crucial for saving lives, so we ask foster parents to consider how adopting a foster animal may affect their ability to continue fostering other animals in the future.