SPCA New Zealand

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Volunteer positions

Foster parent - small animals
Auckland (Hobsonville) Centre

Foster parent - small animals

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 new foster parents to provide temporary homes for rabbits and guinea pigs.

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 small 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.
  • Accommodation – we will be able to provide indoor accommodation for your foster rabbits, you will just need a spare room such as a bathroom or laundry to house them in.
  • Experience – no experience required, we will provide all the training and support you need!
  • Care – some animals will require medication throughout their stay (training on how to medicate an animal is provided).
  • Transport – foster parents will need their own transport 24/7 to bring foster animals to and from the centre or to an after-hours vet should foster animals need emergency veterinary treatment. Some animals might need more than one visit to the vet.
  • Availability for vet appointments – foster parents must be able to bring the foster animal to vet appointments on weekdays.
  • Copy of owned animals vaccination records (we can accept a scanned copy, a photo of the record or a hard copy when you come into the Centre).
  • Photo of foster room/set-up where your foster animal will be staying.
  • 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.
  • Pick up your foster animal and required supplies
  • Give your foster animal your love, care and patience, and introduce them to a real home life experience.
  • Complete daily monitoring records.
  • Return the animal back to the SPCA Centre when they have recovered or are scheduled for return.

​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. So we ask that your own animals be fully vaccinated. Rabbits and guinea pigs need to be housed separately from resident pets.

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 three 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. We provide pelleted food for rabbit and guinea pigs but ask foster parents to supply their own grass, fruits and vegetables.

If you have any questions, please contact our foster team on 09 869 6800, or email us on Hobsonville.foster@spca.nz.

Apply now
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