Foster care takes vulnerable and at-risk pets out of Austin Animal Center and places them into temporary homes.
Animals that need foster care
Kittens and puppies (with and without a mother) that are under 8 weeks of age
Cats and dogs recovering from illnesses or injuries
Displaced dogs and cats needing a temporary home
How long animals need foster care
The average time spent in foster care is 2-6 weeks, but may differ depending on the foster animal’s specific needs.
Potential risks of fostering an animal
Owned pets and/or people catching a disease and/or a parasite from a foster animal
Sick animals could expire in foster care or have to return to the shelter for humane euthanasia
Owned pets and/or people could be injured by a foster animal
What foster care providers need
Regular internet and email access
Transportation to and from Austin Animal Center
Permission from the landlord if renting
Enough room in the foster home to isolate foster pets from owned pets
Up-to-date rabies vaccinations for all pets in the home
We also strongly encourage interested foster care providers to discuss fostering with their veterinarian, as their veterinarian may suggest additional vaccinations to protect owned pets
Kittens and cats in foster care should be kept indoors only.
Puppies (under 5 months of age) should be kept primarily indoors, but can go outside for supervised potty breaks and play time/exercise. High traffic areas, such as the park, pet stores, public sidewalks/trails, etc… should be avoided, as puppies can be susceptible to deadly diseases.
Dogs (over 5 months of age) in foster care should be kept primarily indoors, but can go outside for supervised potty breaks and play time/exercise. Short periods of unsupervised outside time are acceptable as long as you have ensured that your yard is secure. Some dogs can jump/climb over and dig under fences surprisingly fast, so please be cautious when leaving foster dogs unsupervised.
Unless contained in a securely fenced yard or another appropriate enclosure, all puppies and dogs must be kept on leash while outside. In addition, a person must be holding the leash and be in control of the animal at all times.
Since the history or behavior of foster dogs is not always well known, off leash dog parks are prohibited.
How to become a foster care provider
Complete a Foster Care Provider Application. Once the application is approved, you will receive a welcome email/packet and be invited to join a Yahoo group called "Project Starfish," which is how the Austin Animal Center communicates with its foster care providers when there are pets in need.
For additional information on caring for an Austin Animal Center foster animal, please read the Foster Care Manual.