Why Do You Need a Foster Network?
Space: Foster homes create “infinite” space and provide you with complete flexibility.
Cost Savings: Foster homes provide the majority of the care and feeding supplies
for the animals.
Better Marketing: Fosters know the cats best.
Potential Adopters: Fosters have large social networks to tap into.
Happier /Healthier cats: Cats hate cages!
What Exactly Do You Need To Start A Foster
A foster application: So people can apply to foster.
Getting Started: Data Systems
You need a way to track animals moving around into and out of foster homes.
Keeping track of animals that you don’t physically have in your care can be
difficult, have a plan for every step of the way!
Getting Started: Follow Up Systems
Follow up is about prevention (not reaction) and reminding people
before something is due. Send reminders BEFORE things are due.
Times to contact your fosters:
As soon as they pick the animal up
Before items are due (vaccines, spay/neuter). Weekly reports BCC
Spay/Neuter reminders – enough time for them to schedule. Better
yet – schedule the appt. before the animal leaves your care if
possible, then remind people of their already scheduled
If not responding – call!
Legal letter sent if no responses
Outcome as adopted or stolen (get it off the books)
Getting Started: Staff/Support
This can be basic and all volunteers. Grow the staff as the foster network
Foster Approval Team: People to screen new fosters (auto email apps to
Foster Manager: Someone to “manage” the fosters (can be multiple people
Foster Mentor team – not 100% necessary but helpful if you have a lot of
fosters, provide extra support to foster homes
Decisions On Setting Some Basic Foster
You’ll want to make sure your foster approval team is aware of
the rules for when they call to screen fosters
2. Indoor only – 100% indoor to prevent losing them or injury etc.
3. Live within X amount of minutes of the shelter/vet services.
4. Who to contact for medical needs and how to get them taken care of
5. How many cats can one foster home
have (2 cage rule)
6. What to do if a foster’s personal animals
Keep It Simple!
Keep it simple for fosters to sign up, and
avoid lots of loop holes.
• Vet References, calling landlords,
home visits – sound good on paper, not
great in practice.
• The vast majority of people are not
• Prevent hoarding/overload – your
primary thing to worry about
• Educate your fosters - the best way to
ensure they will provide good care!
Getting Started: Communication Tools For
Staying in Touch With Fosters
Somewhere to plea animals from the shelter so fosters can know who needs
saved as well as foster to foster transfers.
Somewhere to send out rule changes or announcements (i.e. we have open
spaces at the PetCo cattery!)
Facebook (warm and fuzzy)
How Do You Build A Foster Network?
Okay now that you’ve got everything you need to manage your fosters, how the
heck do you find anyone willing to do it?
• Your website
• Email everyone you know, ask them to forward to everyone they know