Fostering FAQs

How do I know when to bring back my foster?
Most pets sent out to fosters at HSMSC will have a schedule of vaccines and/or medical treatment that must be followed. The foster coordinator will give you a sheet with dates for follow up appointments when you pick up your foster pet. If you need to reschedule one of these appointments, contact the foster coordinator as soon as possible!

What if my foster is scratching and/or itchy?
Foster dogs and cats are treated for fleas or if they are not old enough they will have had a flea bath so if itching persists or you see fleas, call foster coordinator to set up an appointment for your foster.

How can I tell if my foster has parasites?
All of our dogs and cats are de-wormed upon arrival at HSMSC so don’t be alarmed if you get them home and find round worms (spaghetti worms) or tapeworms (white rice) in their feces as it means it is working! If they do not go away you can bring them back in for more treatment.

What if my foster is vomiting or has diarrhea?
Once in a while dogs and cats will get diarrhea. If it just happens one time it should not be an issue but if an animal is vomiting or having diarrhea for more than 24 hours, please contact us. If they are not eating or drinking and have diarrhea or are vomiting contact us immediately.

What if my foster is not eating?
Occasionally, a dog or cat will skip a meal, especially when they are nervous or their environment has changed. If it continues, contact HSMSC Foster Coordinator for an appointment.

What if my dog or cat is sneezing or has runny nose or eyes?
If foster is sneezing or has clear discharge, it should resolve on its own. If it turns to a green discharge, contact us. If your foster dog or cat develops a runny nose, eyes or starts sneezing and it persists for a couple of days, contact the Foster Coordinator so we can set up an appointment for them to be seen by a vet.

What is my foster is not urinating or defecating?
If an animal has gone for longer than 24 hours without urinating or defecating contact us. Sometimes bottle puppies and kittens will not defecate for upwards of 72 hours, due to change in food and the last time they had a meal. This is normal but we should definitely be contacted if it goes longer than that.

What if my foster becomes lethargic?
If your foster dog or cat becomes lethargic it could be due to many reasons including medications, stress or overexertion. If pet is lethargic but still eating and drinking normally, pet should be ok. If it is lethargic and not eating or drinking contact us immediately.

How do I know what is an emergency?
If you are concerned that your foster is seriously ill, contact the Foster Coordinator immediately and they will give you specific instructions.

Can I take my foster dog to the dog park?
NO! Foster animals should remain ON LEASH at all times.

Can I take my foster to my own vet?
You cannot take a foster to your own vet without authorization from HSMSC. If you do take them in without authorization it will be at your expense.

What if I have to return the foster early?
If a situation arises where you must return a foster, please try to give us as much advance notice as possible so we can find space or another foster.

What if I know someone who wants to adopt my foster?
If you have a friend or family member interested in adopting your foster, they will need to fill out an Adoption Application and turn it in to our Adoption Desk (where it will be reviewed). You must keep the foster until the application has been approved.

What do I do if my foster dog growls at me, other people, or my animals?
Try to pinpoint the triggers and contact the foster coordinator ASAP.

What if my foster dog barks at people, children or other dogs?
Depending on the severity and situation your dog may need to go on a behavior modification plan. Please contact the foster coordinator ASAP.

What if my foster dog is having issues with house training?
One of the benefits of fostering animals is that we can set them up to learn life lessons. Sometimes all we can do is practice patience, and keep our pets on a regular schedule. If you have serious concerns about your foster pet’s bathroom habits, you can contact the foster coordinator for a consultation.

What is my foster dog expected to learn while in my care?
In an effort to make them more adoptable we would like our foster to work on the following: Walking on a leash, house training, how to play nice and basic impulse control and manners.

What is my foster cat expected to learn while in my care?
Train to use the litter box, how to play nice, use a scratch post and you can teach basic obedience to cats. (A way to prevent scratching is to limit access to unwanted areas and/or put double-sided sticky tape on those surfaces.)

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