Fostering FAQs

What is fostering?
Fostering is providing a temporary home for a homeless pet, who for whatever reason, needs to be housed outside of the shelter. 

Why should I foster?
Fostering can be a wonderful experience for you and your family.  You can feel good knowing that you are making a difference in an animal’s life, along with helping your community. By opening your home, you are freeing up space for other animals and providing individualized attention that certain animals require.

What types of animals need foster care?

  • Kittens and puppies too young to be in the shelter
  • Animals recovering from illness or injury
  • Animals that need a break from a shelter environment

How long do animals need to be in foster care?
Every situation is different!  Foster commitments can range from just a few days to several months, so you can choose an option that is suitable to your lifestyle.

How much time is required on my part?
It depends on the situation. Foster animals need all the same things that owned animals do and may need more attention if they are very young or recovering from illness/injury.

What are some potential risks of fostering an animal?

  • Owned animals could catch a disease and/or parasite from a foster animal
  • Foster families, members of the household, or visitors could catch a disease and/or parasite from a foster animal
  • Owned animals or foster animals have the potential to hurt each other, care should always be made when introducing your foster pet to owned pets
  • Foster animals may destroy personal items, oftentimes this is preventable with due care
  • Foster animals may not thrive despite all efforts and may possibly die in foster care or need to be returned to the shelter for humane euthanization. Despite best efforts sometimes this is a possibility that is unavoidable.

What happens if my animal needs medical care?
All medical care will need to be provided under the guidance of Santa Rosa County Animal Services. Contact will need to be made to Santa Rosa County should you have a medical issue with your animal that needs to be addressed. Reimbursements cannot be made for medical care that has not been preauthorized.

Can I take my animal to adoption events?
Occasionally, Santa Rosa County Animal Services participates in adoption events and depending on your animal you may be invited to attend. The animal is still considered property of Santa Rosa County and all adoptions must take place through their standardized procedure. You are welcome to promote your animal to be adopted on your personal social media pages if a specific adoptee or rescue has not already been assigned to your animal once foster is completed. 

Can I adopt my foster animal?
Yes, unless in the rare circumstance that placement has already been established and fostering is just a stepping stone for that animal.  As long as you meet the requirements necessary for adoption, you can adopt your foster animal.