SPCA New Zealand

Volunteer positions

Equine foster parent with dry lot
Christchurch Centre

Equine foster parent with dry lot

Our volunteer foster parents provide a temporary home for these animals and help them recover from surgery, give them medicine for an illness, or work with them to improve their behaviour.

We currently need foster parents to provide temporary homes for equines, specifically ones that require a dry lot due to not being able to consume grass. If you can offer horses a grass-free area to live, please help by applying today.

Why foster an animal?

  • If you can only open your home on a temporary basis, fostering an animal is a great way to rescue an animal in need
  • Every animal that you foster is given a second chance at life – and the more you foster, the more lives you can help save
  • All SPCA foster parents receive training and ongoing support from our foster department
  • Our vets perform health checks and provide medicine as required.

What you need to help with large animals?

  • Time – on average an animal will be staying with you between 3-6 weeks but this can differ depending on the type of animal you foster and each individual animal’s circumstances.
  • Experience – foster carers need to have some experience with horses.
  • Rural property – foster animals need to be housed rurally.
  • Space – foster properties need to have at least one acre for their foster animals.
  • Dry lot – we currently need foster with dry lots, this means no grass in an area. This is due to laminitis or other health reasons.
  • Fencing – paddocks must be fully fenced with fencing suitable for horses.
  • Shelter – foster animals must be provided with shelter.
  • Consent from your landlord – if you don’t own your home.
  • Your love and patience

What does fostering involve?

Every animal has different needs, but a typical foster experience might include:

  • Filling out our application form and a quick follow-up phone interview with our foster team to make sure fostering is right for you.
  • Property check.
  • Your foster animal will be delivered and picked up from your place.
  • Give your foster animal your love, care and patience, and introduce them to a real home life experience.
  • Complete daily monitoring records.

Foster FAQs

Can I foster if I have my own animals?

Yes, we welcome pet owners as foster volunteers. Please keep in mind there is always a health risk when exposing your pets to other animals, in any setting.

Can I foster if I have a full-time job?

It depends on the flexibility of your job and your schedule, and the animal you would like to foster. Most of our foster parents do work full-time, but are able to spend time with their foster animals before and after work. It is, however important that you are able to accommodate vet visits in your schedule if a foster animal is ill and needs to be seen by a vet.

How much time do I need to spend with my foster animals?

As much time as you possibly can. The more time you spend with your foster animals, the more you will help with their socialisation. You’ll also be able to spot signs that your animals are not feeling well, which in some cases could be critical. Besides, it’s a lot of fun to play with foster animals!

How long do animals stay in foster care?

The typical foster stay is between two weeks to a couple of months, depending on the need of the individual animal.

What expenses are involved with foster care?

All medical expenses are covered for animals in foster care. Large animal foster parents will also have food for their foster animals provided but we ask rabbit and guinea pig foster carers to supply their own grass, fruits and vegetables

If you have any questions, please email our foster team at Christchurch.foster@spca.nz

Apply now
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