Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Below are the most commonly asked questions regarding our Foster Program. If you still have questions after reading this FAQ section, please contact us at fostercare@texarkanaanimalleague.org

MISSION

Why does TAL have a Foster Program?

TAL does not house pets that are not ready for adoption.  Foster homes provide a temporary and loving place for them to be until they can enter the adoption center and prepare them for their fur-ever homes.

Who is a foster parent?

They are single people, families, seniors and college students.

• For the single person, a foster animal can be great company without the lifetime commitment a pet would require.

• For the family, it is a great experience to share with your children - to teach them respect for life, responsibility and compassion.

• For the senior, it is a wonderful way to have a companion animal without the cost associated with veterinary care.

• For the college student, a way to fill the void that is left by pets still living back home.

What types of animals need fostering?

• Kittens and puppies too young to be spayed or neutered

• Orphaned kittens and puppies that need to be bottle-fed (under 4 weeks old)

• Moms with nursing kittens or puppies

• Animals with special medical needs (i.e. dogs undergoing heartworm treatment, injured animals recovery from surgery)

• Kittens that require socialization.

• Senior or “hospice” animals

REQUIREMENTS

What are the requirements to be a foster parent?

• Be able to provide a safe, loving and stable environment throughout the foster period

• Be committed to bringing your foster animal to the veterinarian for regularly scheduled check-ups and at the first sign of any illness

• Be financially able to provide the basics for your foster animal

• Have all pets in your home spayed/neutered and up-to-date on vaccinations

What do I need to consider before agreeing to be a foster parent?

What kind of animals do I want to foster?

Do I have the resources (both time and financial) to be able to do this?

PROCESS

I’ve decided to become a foster parent, what do I do next?

Fill out the Online Foster A Pet Application to begin the process of becoming an TAL Foster Parent.

Alternatively you may download and fill out the Foster A Pet Application PDF and email it to fostercare@texarkanaanimalleague.org.

How do I know what animals need to be fostered?

The Foster Coordinator will post foster needs to Facebook.

What do I do when I want to foster an animal?

Simply respond to the Facebook post or call the Foster Coordinator to communicate which animal you would like to foster.

Can you split up large litters of animals?

Yes, larger litters can usually be split up (i.e. 8 kittens into smaller litters of 4 each).  While we prefer that all littermates remain together, we understand that is not always possible.  Please do not ask to foster just one animal from a litter as socialization with their littermates is an important part of their early development.

What if I only want to foster a particular kind of animal, such as kittens?

Foster parents typically do foster a particular type of animal, such as kittens or puppies, special needs animals, etc.  When you receive see a facebook post asking for fosters, only respond to those that you are interested in.

WHILE YOU’RE FOSTERING

What are the foster parent’s responsibilities?

• Transport the animal to the vet  for check-ups as scheduled (this is very important as young animals need to receive their vaccinations on time)

• Transport the animal to the vet if it becomes sick

• Return the animal as scheduled for spay/neuter surgery

• Respond to communications from Foster Coordinator promptly

How long do I keep foster animals?

• This varies depending on the animal’s health and socialization needs as well as space available in the adoption center.

What supplies do I have to pay for:

TAL provides all the supplies needed to foster a dog or cat.  If a foster is able to provided all or part of what is needed to care for a foster, this will free up funds for use somewhere else.

Where do I keep my foster animals?

Your foster animal needs to be kept separate from your own pets, for 10 days.  This is simply a safety precaution for your pets (if you do not have pets of your own, this is not an issue).  A separate room or enclosed area with no carpet works best such as a bathroom or laundry room.  A large crate is also very useful to confine the animal when it is not being supervised.

Will I have to administer any medication?

You will need to give oral medications and occasionally eye medication.  You will be required to administer monthly heartworm preventative.  This may be in oral form or dermal application.  If you are not able to administer simple medication, you may want to reconsider fostering.  This is a very common and normal part of fostering.  It is not in the best interest of the animal to be continually moved when they get sick.

How can I help make my foster animal more adoptable?

• Provide lots of love and socialization to bring out the best in their personality; friendly, outgoing animals that enjoy being around people are the first to get adopted

• Provide basic training such as litter box use, housebreaking, leash training and simple obedience

• Provide basic grooming such as brushing, bathing, nail clipping

Can I post my foster animal on Facebook, etc.?

Yes, you may promote your foster animal but all prospective adopters must put in an adoption application and be approved by the TAL foster program managers.

VETERINARY CARE

Who is responsible for veterinary care?

TAL provides all veterinary care and medication.  You must bring your foster animal to the designated vet’s office care.

What do I do if my foster animal gets sick (non-emergency)?

At the first sign of anything abnormal, the foster should contact one of the foster program managers who will set up a vet appointment and notify you of the place, day and time.  Every attempt will be made to coordinate with your work schedule.

The shelter is open 7 days a week; you should call the shelter to verify that either the vet or a vet technician is there to see your foster animal.  Check the website for shelter hours.

We also have an email address that you can send non-emergency, general questions to that is answered by a volunteer veterinary technician.  You will receive a response within 24 hours.

What do I do if I have an emergency (problems breathing, bleeding, non-responsive)?

As a foster, you will have emergency contact numbers for foster program coordinators.  Contact them immediately and they will make emergency arrangements for treatment with the vet’s office that is on-call. Please try to anticipate any potential problems and go to the shelter during regular hours; only use the emergency phone number as you would a hospital emergency room.

What happens if my own pets get sick?

If your own pet becomes sick or injured due to interaction with a foster animal, you will be responsible for all veterinary care required for your pet.  TAL will not reimburse you for veterinary costs that you incur for your own pets even if the source of the illness or injury was your foster animal.  To reduce the chance of your own pet getting sick, keep foster animals separated, wash your hands after handling and keep their area as clean as possible.

Will I have to find a home for my foster animal?

Although we encourage you to promote your foster animal to family, friends, neighbors and co-workers, all animals will be placed with approved adopters by TAL.

When do I drop off my foster animal for spay/neuter surgery?

You will be given a date, time and name of vet’s office for surgery.  You can either drop off the night before surgery or on the morning of surgery (you will be given the time).  Nothing to eat or drink after 8:00 p.m. the night prior to surgery.

What if I can no longer foster my foster animal?

If you cannot foster the animal until the end of the foster period, we ask that you give us as much time as possible to find another foster home.  Our Foster Coordinator and foster parents are volunteers and it sometimes takes a day or two to orchestrate a transfer.

Can I adopt my foster animal?

Yes, you absolutely can adopt your foster animal.  You will be required to pay the adoption fee.,

What if a friend or relative wants to adopt my foster animal?

Wonderful!  Just have your friend or relative put in an adoption application for your foster animal.

Do all foster animals get adopted?

Most animals are adopted; some just may take longer than others.  The exception is animals that are in hospice care.

How will I feel when I return my foster animal for adoption? Isn’t it hard to say goodbye to my foster animals?

Part of the joy of fostering is knowing that YOU were personally responsible for providing a temporary home until the animal could get into a loving, permanent home.  Our foster parents many times kiss their babies goodbye with tears in their eyes.  Their love and sacrifice are the reason these animals are able to find their fur-ever homes.  And if you get lonesome, there will always be another animal that could benefit from your love and care.

 

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