MCSPCA Foster FAQ
2. Which animals need fostering?
3. What would I be expected to do as a foster parent?
4. Would I be responsible for finding the animal a permanent home?
5. What if I need to go out of town?
6. What if I already have pets of my own?
7. How long would I keep the animal?
8. Would I be responsible for my foster animal's vet expenses?
9. How do I become a foster "parent"?
1. What is
Foster "parents" are volunteers who take MCSPCA
cats into their homes and care for them until they are ready for
adoption. It's a great way to volunteer from home.
animals need fostering?
All of them! Since we do not operate a shelter, all of the animals we accept into our organization must be fostered.
Animals that come into our organization include:
Moms with nursing kittens.
Kittens old enough to be eating on their own.
Kittens/cats that need socialization because they are very shy, have
never been around people, or have been abused or neglected.
“Senior” cats or dogs.
Cats or dogs with special medical needs.
Cats or dogs with behavioral problems (e.g., biting,
not using litter box).
Cats or dogs with no “issues” at all, who simply need a temporary home
until they are adopted.
While some volunteers end up
adopting their foster pets, please note that the foster program is not
for people who want to "try out" an animal prior to
adoption. It is intended to provide one-on-one attention in a home
environment for animals, in order to best prepare them for adoption.
3. What would
I be expected to do as a foster parent?
Provide a clean nurturing, indoor home for the cat or
dog, pending adoption.
Bring the animal to the MCSPCA veterinarian for vaccinations and
other routine treatment.
Give medication as needed. We teach the
Bring the cat to MCSPCA adoption events, held at pet stores in Rockville
and Germantown, on Saturday or Sunday afternoons. (cats only).
MCSPCA has a Neuter Before Adoption policy, meaning that we
spay/neuter all of our animals before they are adopted.
- For adult cats, many of whom are spayed/neutered almost immediately upon entering our system, they are ready for adoption after they have recovered from surgery
and have received any needed medical treatment, such as vaccinations.
- For young kittens, this policy means that the commitment to foster can be longer. Kittens are usually spayed/neutered around 12-14 weeks, if they are healthy
and have gained weight appropriately. This is a decision that is made by the MCSPCA veterinarian. Kittens can take up to two weeks to recover from their spay/neuter surgery, and then are released for adoption by the MCSPCA veterinarian. If you agree to foster kittens at, say, 6 weeks of age, please be aware that these kittens will not be available for adoption for at least 2-3 more months.
4. Would I be
responsible for finding the animal a permanent home?
We hold regularly scheduled events at local pet stores where prospective
adopters can come and meet our cats. Our screening process includes a
written application, an interview with an adoption counselor, a
subsequent vet check, and sometimes a home check.
5. What if I
need to go out of town?
If you can
make arrangements for your foster animal to be cared for by a
responsible petsitter or other caregiver, that’s fine. Otherwise, the
MCSPCA will be responsible for providing temporary housing for your
foster animal(s) while you are away.
6. What if I
already have pets of my own?
If you are
fostering a cat or kittens, we ask that they be kept separate from your
pets, at least initially. A spare room will suffice, or we can provide
a cage if appropriate. In the case of some foster dogs, we will work to
match a dog compatible with your own.
7. How long would I
keep the animal?
many variables when fostering, but in general we ask for a 3-month
commitment. If you are only willing or able to foster for a couple of
weeks, this program probably isn’t for you. We feel strongly that we
need to set an example for the community by spaying and neutering all of
our animals prior to adoption, so please keep in mind that kittens
remain in foster care until they have been spayed/neutered at 3-4 months
of age. We understand that circumstances can change and you can return
an animal at any time if it becomes necessary. Please carefully
consider the commitment up front because if an animal has to be moved it
requires availability of another foster volunteer and it’s stressful to
8. Would I
be responsible for my foster animal's vet expenses?
will provide and pay for the animal's veterinary care and medications,
as approved by the MCSPCA veterinarian. The MCSPCA can also loan litter
boxes, food/water bowls, cat bed, and cage if needed. The foster parent
is expected to purchase food and litter for the foster pet, unless the
pet is on a prescription diet or unless purchasing the items would
create a hardship.
9. How do I
become a foster "parent"?
To foster a dog, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To foster a cat, please email email@example.com
For information on how to write to us, see our contact
||If you have any questions, please email us and we'll answer you as soon as
possible! You can call the MCSPCA at 301-948-4266, but for the
fastest response, please use our email address. For info on how to write to us,
see our contact page.
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