Foster parent - dogs and 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, or work with them to improve their behaviour.
We currently urgently need foster parents to provide temporary homes for puppies and especially adult dogs.
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.
What you need to help:
- Experience handling and training dogs
- Ideally be at home for at least part of the day - this is because many of the dogs that are needing foster require socialisation and special training as many have never experienced a real home environment before. On average an animal will be staying with you between 3-6 weeks but this can differ depending on the animal you foster.
- Spare room (not a must for dogs but recommended) – a safe and secure space away from other animals which could be a spare room, bathroom or laundry.
- You must have a secure backyard with full height fencing and gate (1.8m or higher)
- Written consent from your landlord – if you don’t own your home.
- Care – most animals will require medication throughout their stay (training on how to medicate an animal is provided).
- 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 (this is not required for large farm animals as we can help with transport to the foster home).
- Availability for vet appointments – you will need to be able to bring the foster animal to vet appointments on weekdays.
- 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.
- Digital property check emailed to the team.
- Pick up your foster animal and required supplies. We’ll give you food, bedding, toys, medicine and anything else it needs – some animals may also need a follow-up vet appointment.
- For dog fosterers we also do a meet and greet with your resident dogs to ensure they are compatible with your potential foster dog.
- 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.
- Return the animal back to the SPCA Centre when they have recovered.
Which animals need foster care?
We have lots of different animals that need foster care but are currently especially looking for fosterers for adult dogs and puppies.
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.
Can I foster if I have a full-time job?
To foster dogs and puppies, you should ideally be at home for at least part of the day. This is because many of the dogs that are needing foster require socialisation and special training as many have never experienced a real home environment before.
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 young puppies could be critical. Besides, it’s a lot of fun to play with your 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?
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.
For: Foster parent - dogs and puppies at Christchurch Centre
Thank you for your interest in fostering an animal from SPCA. Foster families are vital to the work of SPCA, and we simply couldn't help the huge number of animals we do without foster families, who provide love and care for animals in their own homes every year.
Please fill out this form as completely as you are able. If you need assistance, please call the team at your local SPCA Centre.
Please note: You will need to be 18 years or over to foster an animal. You may need to provide an up-to-date Ministry of Justice check prior to starting.