Sometimes our animals need a little extra tlc before being ready for their forever home. A few may need a quiet place to recover from medical procedures. Some just need a couch where they can decompress from the stress of shelter life. Whatever they require, the best place for them to receive the care they need is in a home like yours!
Are you a dog person? A cat person? Do you only have a few days free? Or do you have a few months to give to an animal in need? Whatever your situation, we have an animal who would love to relax with you! Below you will find some more specific information regarding our foster program and the application to become a foster parent with us.
The first step to becoming a foster parent with us is to fill out an application. Before doing so, please read through our foster policies and some notes about the process.
- You must be at least 18 years old, with a valid ID to foster an animal with us.
- You may submit an application at any time. It will remain active for 90 days or until you are matched with an animal to foster.
- You will be contacted by email when your application is received.
- Please allow 3-4 business days for processing.
- You will be contacted by email when your application is approved or denied.
- Applications will be approved on a “general” status if you have not been matched with a pet to foster.
- All members of the household must meet your prospective foster pet before they will be sent home.*
- We require that all current pets in the home be up to date on their rabies, DA2PP (dogs), FVRCP (cats) vaccines and spayed or neutered before a foster pet will be sent home. (Cats in the home must also be tested for FIV/FeLV.)
- If you lease or rent, landlord information is required.
*Some exceptions apply and are at the discretion of the VAAR staff.
Not all of our animals are available for foster. The best way to see the animals in need of a foster home is here on our website. It is updated daily as new animals arrive, become available, and as they are adopted.
NOTE: Velvet Acres Animal Rescue reserves the right to refuse foster approval to anyone for any reason. The processing does include checking for child or animal related charges via publicly available sources.
If Approved to Foster
All dogs in the home must participate in a scheduled meet and greet with a prospective foster dog. These meetings will be facilitated by a VAAR staff member, and as such, may not be done as walk-ins but must be scheduled.
A time and date will be scheduled for you to pick up your foster pet.
Why should I foster?
Fostering is a great way to give back to homeless animals in need. When you bring a foster pet into your home, you free up that animals housing space for another animal to be brought into the rescue, thus saving two lives. Fostering is also great for those who are unsure they are prepared for the long term commitment of owning a pet, or those who are unsure their lifestyle would suite a pet.
What are the financial responsibilities of a foster parent?
Foster parents are financially responsible for food/water (bowls as well), appropriate bedding, and any toys or “extras” they would like their foster pet to have. All medical costs (vaccinations, surgeries, medications, etc) are covered by the rescue, but donations are always welcome! Check out this way you may be able to deduct the cost of caring for your foster pet on your taxes!
Are there any other responsibilities for foster parent?
Yes! It is your responsibility to provide your foster pet with love and care just like they were your own pet. They want and need your time and attention most of all. In certain cases, you may be asked to bring your foster pet to an obedience class, vet visit, or to an adoption event. You will be given plenty of notice before any event like this and are responsible for transporting your foster to and from each event. You will have the chance to make alternate arrangements with the rescue if anything conflicts with the timing.
What can I expect from my foster pet?
There is no exact answer! Each animal is different and an individual. We do our best at VAAR to get to know their personalities and habits but being in a home is the best way to do that. We can provide you with information from the animal’s previous owner about their home life and any info we have collected during their time with us but YOU will be the one providing us, and future adopters, with the most pertinent information about your foster pet.
What if I get in over my head?
Don’t worry! Although we do our best to make sure each animal is matched with an appropriate foster, we know that sometimes things just don’t work out. It may be the wrong timing or the wrong match, whatever it is, just let us know and we will make other arrangements for your foster pet. We do ask for patience while we make room for your foster pet back at headquarters or find another foster home, and this process may take a day or two. Contact your foster coordinator to let us know as soon as you feel you are unable to handle your foster pet.
I only want to foster puppies/kittens, can I do that?
Absolutely! We will never try to make you foster an animal that would make you uncomfortable. However you should keep in mind that there are only a certain amount of puppies and kittens available for foster and most of the time, our greatest need is for adult dogs and cats, especially those with medical or behavioral concerns. We have the most puppies and kittens available for foster starting in the spring and going through late summer. It is also rare that we only have singlet puppies or kittens, many times there are litters that need fostering and we will not send them into foster homes alone. The minimum that would be sent into a foster home together is two or three depending on the situation.
I’m only available to foster for a short period of time, can I still foster?
It depends on the animals in need at the time of your availability, but we likely have an adult animal that would benefit from some one-on-one interaction in your home for the time that you have available. If we don’t have a pet that matches your situation at the time, keep in mind that you can always inquire again in the future. We will keep your foster application on file and keep you in mind should a pet come in that would be a good fit for your home!
What if I get attached and want to adopt my foster pet?
That’s great! You would need to fill out and submit an adoption application as soon as you decide you want to adopt your foster pet. (The processing time is usually much quicker because you have already been approved as a foster parent, but we DO need an adoption application on file.) Please keep in mind that once a pet has been made available for adoption, we do not hold them, even for the foster parent.
What is a fospice home?
Fospice is a term to describe a foster home that is also providing hospice care. This is for old or terminally ill animals, who still have a good quality of life, and who need a quiet place to spend their sunset days. These animals may require medication or specialized care to accommodate their unique needs, or they just may need a quiet place to be comfortable and loved until their time comes. This is not an easy role and it is not for everyone. But we can assure you, the love of a senior animal is no less because of their age! Opening your home to one of these animals can be a difficult but rewarding experience that will stay with you forever!
I only want to foster a specific breed of dog, do you all have that one?
Depending on the breed you want to foster, we may have one in need that matches your situation. If we don’t, we can likely give you the contact information of another, breed-specific, rescue that is probably in need of foster homes. You can also search for breed-specific rescues in a web search engine or on petfinder.com.
What do I do if my foster pet has an emergency situation?
Our preferred emergency vets are:
WAKE VETERINARY HOSPITAL AND URGENT CARE 1007 Tandal Pl Knightdale, NC 27545 919-266-9852
VETERINARY SPECIALTY HOSPITAL OF THE CAROLINAS 6405 Tryon Rd Cary, NC 27518 919-233-4911
Both facilities are open 24 hours a day. If you feel the situation is life threatening, call them to let them know you are coming, then contact your foster coordinator with the rescue. If it is an urgent situation, but not life threatening, please contact your foster coordinator before scheduling an appointment or taking your foster pet to the vet.
Can I keep in touch with my foster pet’s adoptive family?
We always encourage foster parents to provide some kind of contact information (if you a comfortable with it) to the adoptive family. You can be one of the biggest helps to a family while they are settling into life with their new pet, answering questions that the rescue staff never got to know about the pet! However, it is completely up to the adoptive family whether they want to contact you, and no one is obligated (on either side) to provide contact information or maintain contact once an animal is in it’s adoptive home. We will make sure you will receive any updates that the rescue receives!
I have an awesome story/photo/video of my foster pet, how can I share it with the world?
We love this! You are absolutely encourages to share any adorable foster pet antics on your personal social media pages, as well as sharing to our rescue social media, FB, IG, ETC. Some good hashtags to add to your text descriptions are #adoptable (#adoptabledog, #adoptablecat), #VelvetAcresAnimalRescue, #foster (#fosterdog, #fostercat), be creative! You never know how someone could see your foster pet and decide they are their furever home!
I’m worried I will feel left out since all my friends are adopting animals. How can I connect with others who are fostering?
There are several ways you can interact with other VAAR foster parents. One is through our FB group. Feel free to share info, stories, photos, words of encouragement, and anything else you’d like! We also have volunteer events throughout the year that you are welcome to attend to meet up with others involved in the rescue, fosters or volunteers. (After all, fosters are volunteers who are just volunteering a little more of themselves to our animals!) Keep an eye out for foster parent-specific events as well!
I’m going out of town for X number of days. What do I do with my foster pet?
Please alert your foster coordinator of any plans you may have that would make you unable to care for your foster pet. We will need to make other arrangements for the pet either at our center or with another foster family. A minimum of 10 days notice is required for each span you will need care for your foster pet, so that we have adequate time to determine the best accommodations. Over holidays, a minimum of 20 days notice is required.