Become a Foster Parent
The Humane Society of Eastern Carolina (HSEC) foster care families provide temporary care for kittens, puppies, dogs and cats. Some animals may only need a home for several days, while others may need several months of care. We are always looking for foster families!
Fostering is vital to our mission. By offering your time, energy, and home to an animal in need, you prepare that young, shy, or ill animal for adoption into a permanent home. Fosters also increase our capacity to shelter and care for orphaned animals beyond the walls of our facility. In short, foster care saves lives.
To foster, you must apply through the link before. HSEC staff will review the application and contact you soon to move forward with fostering.
We thank you for considering becoming a foster parent for the HSEC animals!
Before we enroll you in the foster program, however, you should first ask yourself these important questions. Only if your honest answer to every one of them is a firm "Yes!" should you consider becoming a foster parent.
Are you able to separate the foster animals from your own? We recommend you separate the foster animals from your own companion animals at least when you are not there and for a trial period. This makes sure everyone gets along. A separate room or enclosed area with NO carpet will work best. Bathrooms make a great foster area. Remember keep the toilet seat closed.
Are you aware that there is a great deal of clean-up and even possible damage to your home when you take a foster? Foster animals have ruined drapes, carpeting, shoes, and other valuable items. Preparing your home and the area the animals will stay in can prevent most accidents, but not all of them!
Are all family members whose lives will be impacted by the fosters willing to have these animals in your home? Fosters may be noisy; they may be messy; they may break or otherwise damage items in your home. A part of your living space will have to be closed off and dedicated to them. You will have to spend significant amounts of time with them, and may have to make multiple trips back to the shelter with them even if they are healthy (kittens, for example, need to have their weight gain checked regularly).
Are you able to monitor the health of the foster animals? Are you aware that there is a great deal of clean-up and even possible damage to your home when you take a foster? You will need to pay attention to your fosters. You'll need to spend enough time with them to know their normal behavior patterns. Only then will you be able to spot the signs of illness, or worsening of symptoms, in time to avoid your foster needing expensive veterinary care—or perhaps even dying.
Can you get to us quickly in case of an emergency? If animals in your care need medical treatment, you must be able to promptly transport the animal either to the shelter or to a designated veterinarian for proper medical treatment.
Are you emotionally prepared to return the animal after the foster period is up? It can be very difficult to let go once you have become emotionally attached to the animals! Remember the day will come for you to bring your foster animals back to the shelter. You will be giving love and attention to the animals every day while they're in your care… then one day they'll be gone. Your only comfort will be knowing that they are much more likely to find a loving, permanent home because of YOUR work!
Do you feel comfortable explaining to friends that these animals are not yours to adopt out and that they must go through the regular adoption process? If you are interested in helping to find homes for your foster animals, you must refer your friends and family to the shelter staff to complete an adoption application. The animals cannot be adopted out from your home.