Foster FAQ

How long do animals need to stay in foster care?
The typical foster stay is two weeks to six weeks, depending on the needs of the individual animal(s) in your care. The time frame of each foster situation will be discussed with you ahead of time.
Can I become a foster volunteer if I have pets of my own?
Please keep in mind that there is always a health risk when exposing your pets to other animals in any setting.
However, the risk is minimal if your pets are vaccinated and in good health.
What if my foster needs to go to the vet?
Vet care for foster animals is provided by our vet staff here at the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society. If you take your foster animal to your own vet, but have not received approval to do this, you will be responsible for paying the bill. With limited funds, SFAHS must utilize our own staff whenever possible. See the Emergency Foster Contacts page if you have any issues.
What if my foster has a vet emergency?
Immediately contact the SFAHS humane officers at 605-254-4058 
If your animal has an obvious and clear emergency (hit by a car, serious fight with an animal, ingestion of dangerous object) 

Inform SFAHS humane officers that you are a foster parent for a SFAHS animal and tell them what has happened. They will tell you where to take the animal and how to proceed. 

If you feel your foster is experiencing an emergency, but not sure what exactly, and it is during business hours please see the Emergency Foster Contacts page for who to contact.
What if my foster isn't working out?
SFAHS will make every effort to ensure a good and safe foster match. However, there are times that it just doesn't work for the animal. In this case, contact the foster coordinator we will work with you on how to proceed. 
Can I adopt my foster animal?
Yes, as long as your adoption application is approved by the front office staff.
What if I have to leave town?
If you know you are leaving town , please do not accept foster animals until you are back. 

If it is unplanned or an emergency, please notify us as soon as you can so that we can make arrangements. 
Can I take my adult foster dog to the dog park?
Because adult dogs are typically in foster care due to not being socialized or for illness, we ask that you avoid the dog parks.

If you feel strongly about the benefit of this for your foster, please contact the foster coordinator and have a discussion.
Putting your foster dog in a situation that could bring danger to him or others is something every foster needs to think about carefully.
What if my pets get sick from my foster pet?
This can be a reality of fostering, but the most common illness spread is a URI (cats) or kennel cough (dogs). There are like human colds and animals typically recover quickly with medications.

To prevent this, we strongly suggest that all your pets be current on their vaccinations, use flea/tick prevention, and keep foster pets separated from owned- pets. Pets that are current on their vaccines usually have little to no problems with foster pets, and if problems do arise they are typically small and easily addressed.

The Sioux Falls Area Humane Society is prohibited from giving veterinary care to privately owned animals. If your animal becomes sick or injured due to interactions with a SFAHS foster animal, you will be responsible for all medical care required, as agreed upon in your foster contract.
Can I name my foster animal?
In most cases, yes! Animals that are surrendered to the shelter may have names that they have known for years. In that case, we recommend against giving them a new name. Kittens, puppies or stray animals typically don't have an identification, so you can name them! We ask that you keep the names appropriate, family-friendly and try to be unique!
Do I need to have prior medical knowledge or expertise?
No prior medical knowledge is required, but experience with giving pets medications is always a plus! For the most part, you will be bringing the fosters back to the shelter for any medications, unless they require daily meds. If this is so, the foster coordinator or vet staff will show you how to administer these.
How often does a foster animal need to be brought in for check-ups?
Foster families need to transport animals back to the shelter on a regular basis for vaccinations, vet checks, weight checks, and spay and neuter surgeries. Vaccination appointments and weigh-ins for kittens and puppies are scheduled every two weeks. 
What if a friend or family member wants to adopt my foster animal?
Thank you for helping find homes for your foster animals. Please keep in mind, however, that the animals will not be available until their medical work, including spay or neuter surgery, is completed. Please refer interested adopters to the Apply to Adopt page to start the adoption process.

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