(540) 657-7387 | [email protected]

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puppies need fosters too

Thank you for your interest in providing a foster home to an animal in need!  The Stafford SPCA has a small foster program, but we are always interested in adding a great new foster into our network!

The Stafford SPCA utilizes foster homes for animals in our care who need special attention or who do not thrive in a shelter environment.  Your willingness to take these animals in and provide care for them is indispensable in making some shelter animals adoptable and preparing them for a forever home with a devoted family.

Frequently asked questions

I already own my own pets. Can I still foster pets?
Yes! The Stafford SPCA will make the final decision based on the animal(s) in need of foster homes and the suitability of your existing animals. The Stafford SPCA makes fostering decisions based on the best interest of the animals in need of a foster home. Our foster volunteers often have established pets who get along well with foster pets as they come and go.

What supplies do I need to foster an animal?
Generally, the more things of your own that you can provide for a foster pet, the better, including toys, bowls, bedding, and a crate (for dogs). Stafford SPCA requires the use of crates for foster dogs. If you do not have a crate, we will provide one for you for the duration of the time the foster dog is in your home.

Feeding instructions will be provided to you, and you will agree to feed the brand, type, and amounts of food that we recommend. The supplies that you will need depend on the type and age of animal you foster, but the Stafford SPCA will be in consultation with you to ensure you have what you need.

What kinds of animals are in need of foster homes?
Generally, animals most often in need of foster homes are very young animals, animals recovering from injury, animals particularly in need of socialization, and animals experiencing “shelter stress,” or the tension that can arise from living in even the best shelter environment. These animals need extra attention and TLC in order to become fully adoptable. That’s where foster caregivers are so valuable!

What about veterinary visits?
The Stafford SPCA must approve all veterinary visits in advance. Depending on the age of your foster pet, vet appointments may be scheduled for your pet for routine check-ups and vaccinations. It will be your responsibility to deliver your foster pet to these appointments, or to contact the Stafford SPCA to make other transportation arrangements.
You, as foster caregiver, will not be in charge of scheduling appointments for your foster animal. Only the Stafford SPCA will do that. Likewise, the Stafford SPCA will be responsible for payment for veterinary treatment.

Am I responsible for finding my foster pet its new home?
No. The Stafford SPCA is in charge of the adoptions process from start to finish, including finding the right forever home for your foster pet.
But we do need your help finding a great match! Refer any potential adopters to us, and we will facilitate the process to make sure your foster pet goes to an amazing home.  Final decisions regarding the animal’s ultimate adoptive placement remain the right of the Stafford SPCA in all instances.

Do I need prior fostering experience?
No! Of course, you need to be comfortable providing care for the foster animal we match you with, but we do not require previous fostering experience.
We will not place an animal with you who has special needs that you are not comfortable caring for. We want this to be a great experience for everyone!

Why are foster homes so helpful?
One of your biggest advantages as a foster caregiver is that you can help your foster pet become more socialized, better trained, and more adoptable!  A home is an ideal environment for a companion animal so that they can become comfortable in a home environment and thus be an easier adoptive placement when the time comes.

Also, the more animals that the Stafford SPCA has in great foster homes, the more animals we are able to take in and help at the shelter.

How can I help my foster pet become more adoptable and get adopted?
First, stay in touch with the Stafford SPCA with details and personality quirks, so that we can keep the pet’s online adoption profile updated and engaging.
Second, training and socializing your foster pet is extremely important. Shy dogs, for example, become much more adoptable as they become friendlier and more comfortable with people.  Rambunctious kittens become more adoptable as they learn basic boundaries with their claws and teeth.  Older dogs with potty training issues become more adoptable as their potty training becomes more solidified and accidents occur less frequently.  As you get to know your foster pet, you’ll learn his or her special needs and areas that need improvement.
The Stafford SPCA will help you every step of the way as your relationship with your foster pet develops. We can provide basic training advice, socializing tips, crate training expertise, and other help you may need.

Getting started

The first step in becoming a foster caregiver is to fill out our foster program application.

Please be thorough in your responses to the questions on the application.  Thorough answers allow us to find the best fit for you, your home, your family, and a potential foster pet.  Please note that filling out an application does not guarantee approval and does not guarantee the placement of a particular pet.  Sometimes we hold onto foster applications for a little while until a suitable pet comes in who would be well-suited for a foster home like yours.

Please submit the completed foster application to [email protected], or fax it to 866-522-8042.

More information

Feel free to look through our foster program contract and foster program manual (links below) to familiarize yourself with how the program works and what expectations will be for foster homes, and what foster homes can expect of us.

If you have specific questions about our program, please don’t hesitate to email our Volunteer Coordinator at [email protected] OR [email protected].  Or call our Volunteer Coordinator directly at 540-242-0608.

Click for Foster Program Application

Click for Foster Program Contract

Click for Foster Program Manual

Thank you for your interest in fostering!


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140 Andrew Chapel Rd, Stafford, VA 22554 | (540) 657-7387[email protected]