SPCA New Zealand

Volunteer positions

Foster parent - Puppies
Wellington Centre

Foster parent - Puppies

Many of the animals that come into our SPCA Centres across the country need additional care, treatment and socialisation before finding their new forever home.

Our volunteer foster parents provide a temporary home for these animals and help them recover from surgery, give them medicine for an illness, work with them to improve their behaviour or simply nurture them whilst they grow big enough for adoption.

We currently urgently need foster parents to provide temporary homes for puppies up to five months old. There is also availability to foster adult canines. 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 Centre Team.
  • We supply all food, bedding, toys and everything else to make the animals comfortable while staying in your home.
  • Our on-site vet team perform health checks and provide medicine as required

What you need to help:

  • Experience handling and training dogs.
  • Ideally be at home for at least part of the day - this is because the puppies require socialisation and training to prepare them for adoption. On average an animal will be staying with you between 2-6 weeks but this can differ depending on the animal you foster.
  • Spare room or quiet area (not a must for puppies but recommended) – a safe and secure space away from other animals which could be a spare room, bathroom or laundry. Puppies must sleep inside at night and cannot have any unmonitored interaction with kids or other animals.
  • A fully-fenced section, with written consent from your landlord – if you don’t own your own home. Puppies cannot leave your property including walks.
  • Care – some animals will require medication throughout their stay (training on how to medicate an animal is provided), and all will be to be monitored in terms of health and behavior
  • Transport – you will need your own transport 24/7 to bring foster animals to and from the centre or to an after-hours vet should your foster animal need emergency veterinary treatment in the middle of the night– some animals might need more than one visit to the vet
  • Availability for vet appointments – you must be able to bring the foster animal to vet appointments on weekdays or over the weekend.
  • Attend a foster information session at the centre before you start fostering.
  • 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.
  • Reading our foster information manuals, attending relevant training sessions and completing induction paperwork.
  • Property check by one of our centre team.
  • Pick up your foster animal and required supplies. We’ll give you food, bedding, toys, medicine and anything else your foster needs.
  • Give your foster animal your love, care and patience, and introduce them to a real home life experience, rules and boundaries.
  • Complete daily monitoring records and stay in contact with the foster team.
  • Return the animal back to our SPCA Centre when they have recovered or are scheduled for return.
  • Wait to be contacted regarding the next suitable foster animal.

Foster FAQs

Which animals need foster care?

We have lots of different animals that need foster care but are currently especially looking for fosterers for puppies up to five months old, as well as adult dogs.

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. So we ask that your own animals be fully vaccinated and advise that they are kept completely separate from foster animals. Puppies cannot have any unmonitored interaction with kids or other animals.

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

To foster puppies, you need to be at home for at least part of the day. This is because the puppies require socialisation and training to prepare them for adoption.

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 can be critical with young puppies. 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. We can usually give you a good estimate of how long the animal will need in foster-care before you agree to take them on.

What expenses are involved with foster care?

All foster families are provided with all the food, bedding, equipment (such as litter trays) and medical expenses are covered for the animals in their care.

If you have any questions, please call us on 04 389 8044 or email wellington.volunteer@spca.nz.

Apply now
Hello! Choose your nearest SPCA Centre and see content specific to your location:
Hit enter to submit