SPCA New Zealand
Foster an animal

Foster an animal

Many of the animals that come into our SPCA Centres need extra care, treatment and socialisation before finding their new forever home. That’s where our foster parents come in.

They give pets a temporary home to recover, administer medication, play with them and show them what it is like to live in a home. You can help save the life of an animal by becoming an SPCA Animal Foster Parent today.

What animals need fostering?

Every type of animal needs fostering. This includes:

  • Adult cats, dogs and small animals,
  • Mums with babies,
  • Sick and injured animals,
  • Young kittens, puppies or small animals that need to grow before they can be adopted,
  • Shy animals, and
  • Animals waiting in SPCA care for legal proceedings to take place.

Some of our Centres also need foster parents for birds and farm animals like horses, pigs, sheep and goats.

How does fostering help animals?

Many animals that come to SPCA have either suffered on the hands of people or are not used to human care and affection. Living with a foster family provides them with one-to-one care, allowing them to build up their confidence and get used to being a loved pet.

Fostering also helps us free up space in our animal centres for incoming animals as well as cases that need intensive medical care. Some animals don't cope well in an animal centre environment or need to remain in our care for a longer period of time whilst legal proceedings take place. This is where we need fosterers to provide them with a real home, even if it is only on a temporary basis.

What’s in it for me?

Fostering is a great option for people who love the company of animals but are not able to commit to an (extra) animal long-term. You'll get to meet and care for animals with unique personalities and see them rehomed to a new family. But you can take a break when you need to.

Foster animals can fill your home with joy, play, laughter and cuddles. They can teach children compassion and boundaries, be a play mate to existing pets and allow you to learn new animal care skills. All that from the comfort of your own home, and at no cost to you.

And it's rewarding to know that you played a key part in helping a shelter animal recover from a life of suffering and start a new chapter.

How much time will I have to give?

Most foster animals spend between two weeks and several months in foster care. You can discuss with our team how long you are available and we can match you with the right foster animal each time. And you can take a break between foster placements if you like.

Before you can start, we will ask you to complete an induction course to learn all the skills you need. We do this to keep you and the animals you care for safe.

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