Foster Carers: The bridge between Homeless & Home…
Becoming a foster carer means providing a rescue animal with a safe, loving, and enriching place where they can heal, rest and rehabilitate until they’re ready to be adopted. And there’s a reason the old adage, “fostering saves lives” is used time and time again by rescues – because by opening up your heart and home to a temporary four-legged house guest, you really will make an everlasting impact!
How? Whether they’ve come from a truly awful situation or have had to leave their previous loving home for whatever reason – all the animals who find themselves in our care are suddenly in a big shelter, confused and unsure. No matter how attentive and loving our staff and volunteers are, it’s just a fact that animals living in a shelter are going to experience some level of stress at some point.
That’s where you come in! Because even the smallest timeframe in foster care is enough to de-stress an animal and increase their chance of being adopted.
Why? There is just no comparison to the love and enrichment an animal gains in a home environment.
By becoming a foster carer, YOU can help to give an orphaned, senior, abandoned, sick, injured, mistreated, or anxious rescue animal the chance to learn that living in a home can be safe and full of love again. That people can be gentle and are not to be feared. So, when it’s time for them to meet their new family, they’ll be excited to go instead of frightened… and YOU helped make that happen!
10 PAWSOME Things You NEED To Know About Fostering
1. No Financial Commitment
Everything you need to care for your foster pet is provided by SCAR!
- FOOD: We’re lucky enough to be sponsored by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, which means that all our shelter animal’s food is donated by this amazing company. As a foster carer taking care of one of these animals, you will be supplied with all the food needed to care for your temporary house guest.
- OTHER SUPPLIES: We will also supply you with treats, bedding, poop bags / litter and all the toys your foster pet could dream of.
- MEDICAL: If your foster animal requires veterinary care, you are required to contact a SCAR representative as soon as possible and depending on the problem, bring the animal into the SCAR Community Animal Hospital. Any veterinary treatments your foster pet may need during their stay will also be covered by SCAR.
- Literally all YOU need to supply is a warm loving home, some time, and lots of TLC!
Fostering a shelter animal is like being the cool aunt of the family – You can look after them, give them all the love, attention, and enrichment they need and then, if something comes up, you can hand them back to us at the shelter!
All the animals in our care require a different length of stay depending on why they’ve been placed into care in the first place, as well as how long it takes to find their loving homes – just speak with our Foster Care Coordinator about your availability, and we can match you with the right animal.
There are plenty of senior dogs or cats that won’t mind relaxing at home all day while you’re at work. And even a weekend retreat in your home will benefit an animal if you’re too tied up during the week!
3. No house too small!
You may think your house is too small, but trust us. To a dog in a kennel or a cat in an enclosure, your house is a sprawling palace.
Even if you work full time, live in an apartment, or already have pets at home - you can still become a foster carer to a shelter animal.
All you need is a spare room, a bathroom or even a laundry. Just somewhere that you can turn into a secure and comfortable little refuge for your new house guest to feel safe in. Your foster care coordinator will always pair you with an animal that is right for you and your environment and will be there every step of the way.
4. Goodbyes are a Good Thing
Anyone who says that saying goodbye to your foster isn’t a sad day - is lying to you. Of course, you will become attached to your foster pet, and you will be sad when it’s time to say goodbye. Its human nature to form bonds and attachments to those we have nurtured and cared for – especially when they’re as cute and cuddly as a foster dog or cat!
But! Saying goodbye to a foster is a good thing. It means that you, as a foster carer, have done an amazing job and have done everything possible to set your foster pet up for success. It means they’re ready to be adopted by Their People and trust us, no matter how sad you are to say goodbye, there is no greater feeling than knowing your foster pet has found the perfect family for them! And hey, if you’re really sad, you could always adopt them yourself… no one’s gonna be mad about that!
5. No one’s ever been mad at a 'Foster Fail'
If you do decide your foster pet belongs with you and your family, make sure you speak with our Foster Care Coordinator. Our carers are, in most cases, given the first option to adopt the animal they are fostering once they are ready for adoption.
6. You Raise Awareness
Each time you’re stopped on the street during a walk and interact with someone who wants to know all about your dog (because we all know that anyone who doesn’t do this isn’t human!) and you tell them all about your amazing foster, you help raise awareness for SCAR.
Every photo you post on Instagram or Facebook of your foster cat being adorable, telling their story and tagging SCAR helps - and who knows, maybe YOU will recruit the next foster carer, volunteer - or even an adopter for your foster pet!
7. Think of the Social Media Content!
That’s right! Everyone loves cute photos of doggos and cattos and like we said above, social media has the power to reach hundreds and thousands of people.
You’ll have so many photos of your furry houseguest, so why not get creative, have some fun and use social media to find them a home? That cute photo of your foster pup will not only brighten everyone’s day, but it might also just land them a family!
8. It’s an Awesome Learning Experience
Want to learn the ins and outs of looking after a pet, but aren’t ready to commit to one full time? Then fostering is the perfect opportunity to practise your skills and ask all the questions you like!
You’ll learn all about animal behaviour and get to try out your training skills with either cats or dogs. You’ll get to see so many different breeds and personalities in the animals that come in and out of your care, and it’s a great way to teach younger members of the family about caring for animals, too.
9. Provide SCAR with invaluable insight
When our animals are within a shelter environment, it can be difficult to learn all the important things we need to know about them.
How do they act during the day when they’re home with people or alone? Do they get on well with children? Are they reactive towards certain people?
How do they react in different situations? Such as when an argument breaks out, a child leans in for a hug, the vacuum comes out or when a stranger drops by?
This kind of information is vital, as it helps us learn how an animal will behave once they are placed with their loving family, but this information can only really be learned in a home environment with a foster family. You can help us understand who our animals are as individuals so that when it comes time to match them with Their People – we know exactly who will be the right fit!
10. It Will Make You Happy!
Whether you’re a dog or a cat person – what’s not to love about spending time with a cute animal?!
By fostering, you’re providing a homeless animal with the care and attention they need to be set up and prepared for adoption. You help create more space at our shelter so that we have the capacity to take in more animals in need, and you get to share your home with a dog or cat for a while. All mega wins!
But the best part? Not only will you bring joy to your family and friends, but you’ll also get to watch as the animal in your care grows mentally, emotionally, and behaviourally, which is so deeply rewarding.
We are always looking for new carers to join our Foster Care Family, so if you're keen to participate
in this gratifying program, submit your application below!
To apply, simply complete the Foster Carer Application Form below.
As part of the application process to become a foster carer with us, we require you to attend an Information Session before you begin fostering.
You should receive an email from our Foster Care Coordinator within 5 days of submitting your application with dates and times of the next Information Session.
Requirements to becoming a Foster Carer:
If you are interested in becoming a foster carer, you will need to meet the following criteria:
- Submit a fully completed foster carer application form.
- Hold a valid driver’s licence or have access to reliable and safe transportation.
- Carers must be a minimum of 18 years of age.
- Provide an environment that is safe and secure within your home (indoors only for cats and indoor/outdoor for dogs).
- You must have the ability to isolate the foster animal(s) from family pets when required.
- Ensure all owned pets have up-to-date vaccinations and are desexed.