Author: Miranda Ward, Community Pet Coordinator
Fostering a Cat or Dog in Lynchburg, Virginia
The Lynchburg Humane Society serves upwards of 10,000 pets each year, including the operations of our Center for Pets, our Spay/Neuter Clinic, our rehoming services, and our lost pet services. Did you know that around 2,000 of these pets are underage kittens and puppies? This is where our foster team and our amazing community of volunteer foster families comes in!
We are always searching to grow our foster community in order to help further our life-saving mission. Here are some FAQs about fostering if you’ve been thinking about getting started!
How do I become a foster?
A: You start by applying here. Once we’ve received and approved your application, you’ll receive an onboarding email from us teaching you how to join our foster Facebook page which is the best place to learn about fosterable pets. You can also send us an email at [email protected] and ask which pets are available for a match.
How much does it cost to foster a pet?
A: Nothing! Fostering is completely free. LHS provides all of the supplies, medication, and equipment it takes to care for your foster pet. We also provide all of their medical care right here at the Center for Pets with our wonderful Medical Team. You are never obligated to buy or pay for anything.
Where do the food and supplies come from for the foster program?
A: We receive a lot of our supplies from in-kind donations from our generous community! When a community member’s pet switches food, has too many toys, or blankets, they often will drop them off here to help our lost and homeless pets at LHS. LHS also buys hundreds of cans of wet food and upwards of 10-20 bags of dry food per week which is possible because of our wonderful supportive community of donors.
Do you only need fosters for kittens?
A: Nope! We offer different kinds of placements for all sorts of pets. We need lots of kitten fosters for sure, but we’re also always looking for foster families for pregnant and nursing cats and dogs, puppies, and adult cats and dogs (and the occasional rabbit, guinea pig, ferret, or other small pet!)
How long do I keep a foster pet?
A: It depends! If you want a shorter term placement, we offer emergency one night foster placements for pets that come in that are too small to stay by themselves in the center overnight. The next shortest term is a program called Tutoring for adult dogs to get out for a weekend and relax! After that, there are underage kittens or medical kittens that may only need care for a week or two. If you want to keep a pet for a long time, underage pets like neonates have an average stay of 3-8 weeks. Pregnant and nursing pets have an average stay in foster of 2-3 months. If you just can’t bear the thought of giving a pet back once you take them home, we also offer long term hospice fostering, which is a great way to give back, especially for people who would be interested in adopting but may not be able to afford the cost of care for medically complicated or senior pets. If you’re more of a go with the flow type, some of our medical and behavioral cases have no set limit and are just in foster until they are ready for adoption!
What do I have to do?
A: To foster, you need a place to keep the pet isolated from any resident pets. We often provide playpens and crates to help with this, but bathrooms and walk in closets work great for small pets like kittens. You just have to feed them, love them, play with them, keep them and their space clean, and come back for appointments as needed!
Become a foster at the Lynchburg Humane Society!
If this blog encouraged you to apply, let us know in the notes on your application! We are excited to welcome you into the foster community and have you join us in this fulfilling mission to help save and care for our neediest pets.