FOSTER

Fosters save lives by providing temporary, loving and safe homes for animals until they are adopted. Because FAW does not have shelter facilities, if we don’t have a foster for an animal surrendered into our care, we have no good options for them. It is important to know that most animals needing foster care do not have special needs so you don’t need to be nervous that you may not be able to cope. Many are ready for homes – they just need a place to stay! Think of it as couch surfing for pets.

Please contact us at adoptions@faw.za.org OR WhatsApp 078 892 7892 OR complete the online foster application form here: FOSTER APPLICATION FORM

We are based near Durbanville, Western Cape. Kittens, puppies, and animals needing veterinary treatment should be in or around the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town (such as Durbanville, Bellville, Brackenfell, etc.) but healthy adult animals can be fostered further out in the Greater Cape Town area. This is because our vets are located in Durbanville, Bellville, and Fisantekraal, which makes it easier when they need vaccinations, sterilisation, or other veterinary care. 

5 reasons why fostering is important

  • We have no shelter so there is nowhere to take unwanted animals.
  • If we can find a shelter which can take them, many animals do not cope, becoming depressed, frantic, stressed, underweight, and traumatised. Even those that do initially cope, struggle eventually. Some shelters are so full that they may eventually have to put the animal to sleep.
  • Fostering improves their social skills and you can teach the basics (e.g. house-training).
  • You can help us learn more about their personality, likes and dislikes, and abilities, making it easier to find the ideal home for them.
  • People are more likely to adopt fostered animals because they know they’ve been in a home environment and have been taught the basics.

Fostering is particularly helpful for animals recovering from surgery or illness; young/baby animals needing frequent feeding and attention; nervous or timid animals; animals requiring increased/special feeding due to starvation, neglect or illness; young animals needing extra exercise and/or training; animals who cannot cope with shelter life (e.g. seniors). 

However, 80% of the animals which FAW takes in do not have special needs or require specialised care – they are just homeless and need a place to stay and people who care enough to put in some effort.

Emergency, short- and long-term fosters

We desperately need RELIABLE, on-call emergency foster homes in the Durbanville-and-surrounds area which can take in a dog, cat, puppy, or kitten straight away.

We do not always know in advance when an animal will come in (surrendered or confiscated). When they land on our doorstep, knowing that there is someone there, ready and waiting, makes an enormous difference because we can make an immediate decision on what to do with the animal. 

Animals awaiting homes can be in foster care for anything from a week or two to several months, although we prefer them not stay too long. Sometimes all they need is a spare room and an extra couple of days so we have time to find something more long-term.

Foster ‘job description’

Obviously, you have to love animals and be home often enough to care for them!

You also need to monitor their health, spend time with them, provide basic training (e.g. housetraining), and help us network them, for example by taking photos of them, sharing their posts onto your social media pages, and telling people you know about them.

Fosters are unpaid volunteers (FAW is run by volunteers) but we can provide food for your foster should you need it, and FAW will cover any veterinary care which they may need until they are adopted. Ideally, you would live near one of our vets, which are in Durbanville, Bellville, and Fisantekraal/Greenville. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I choose my foster animal?

Yes! You specify species, size, age, sex, etc. or a specific animal that you’ve seen on our social media or website pages. You can tell us for how long you can foster at a time, and when you’re available. You can stop fostering at any time.

Can anyone be a foster?

Fosters need to meet certain criteria and a basic home check is needed. This ensures that both the animal and you are suited to each other. You’ll also need to sign a contract so that everyone knows where they stand.

For healthy adult dogs and cats, you don’t have to be home all the time, but you also can’t be constantly travelling or out at work for long hours every day. Animals with special needs or young puppies and kittens are better off with fosters who are home or able to check on them regularly during the day.

You don’t have to be very experienced or have special knowledge, unless it’s a special needs animal. You don’t have to have lots of money or an enormous house either!

The best fosters are stable, average homes with lots of love to give.

Do fosters get paid?

No, we do not pay fosters – they are volunteers wanting to make a difference (FAW is a volunteer-run organisation). We can, however, provide food during the foster period (although many of our fosters prefer to do this themselves), and can also provide other neccessities like a bed, collar, cat litter, etc. until they are adopted.

Vet treatment is also at our vet, which we cover until adoption.

What about my own pets?

We endeavour to take foster animals for a vet check, and vaccinate, deworm, and deflea them beforehand. Unless the foster has specifically asked to take recovering animals, we avoid fostering sick and/or contagious animals. We are as upfront as possible about any health or behavioural issues that we know of or suspect.

Nonetheless, we strongly advise that you ensure that your pets’ vaccinations are up-to-date, that they are spayed/neutered, and that their health is good. Deworm them regularly, and keep their flea-and-tick treatments current.

Your own animals are the priority and, if you don’t feel they will cope with new animals, it’s best to postpone fostering (except for situations like keeping a cat in the spare room for a few days).

What about my children?

If we know or suspect an animal isn’t good with children, we won’t send it to a home with children. Your children should ideally be used to animals and know not to bother them while eating, play roughly with them, etc. It’s important that you discuss the process with your children as they don’t always understand that it’s temporary and could struggle if the animal finds a forever home.

But isn’t it hard to ‘say goodbye’?

We’re not going to lie – it can be tough to say goodbye to your foster animal. The key is to remember that it’s the only way to open up space to save another animal. Knowing that we’re strict in our rehoming helps – you can be sure we’ve done everything possible to find a GREAT home. If you really struggle, very short-term/emergency fostering is a better option.  Many fosters do end up adopting but that’s entirely up to you!

OK, I CAN BE A FOSTER! WHAT’S NEXT?

Thank you! Please complete the online application form here. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

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