More about Fostering

Volunteer foster families help care for the animals at Humane Society of Hobart by providing temporary, in-home care to HSH animals. Fostering is a very rewarding opportunity because you get to prepare an animal for adoption.

When you foster, you agree to take a homeless dog into your home and give him or her love, care and attention, either for a predetermined period of time or until the animal is adopted.

Why do shelters need foster homes?

There are many reasons animals might need foster care. Some of the most common include:

  • A rescue group doesn’t have a physical shelter and depends on foster homes to care for dogs until suitable homes are found.
  • A puppy is too young to be adopted and needs a safe place to stay until he or she is old enough to go to a forever home.
  • A dog is recovering from surgery, illness or injury and needs a safe place to recuperate.
  • A dog is showing signs of stress such as pacing or hiding in the shelter.
  • A dog has not lived in a home before or has not had much contact with people and needs to be socialized.
  • The shelter is running out of room for adoptable dogs.


Why should I foster a dog?

Fostering a dog is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have (other than adopting, of course). By taking an animal in need temporarily into your home you’re:

  • freeing up a spot so the shelter or rescue can take in another dog.
  • giving your foster dog the time he needs to be ready for adoption.
  • helping the shelter or rescue learn more about the dog so he can end up in the best home possible.
  • socializing the dog to a home environment and possibly getting him used to being around other pets and different types of people.


I’m ready! How do I join?

Fill out a Foster Care Application Once complete, we will contact you the next steps.

Can I be a foster parent?

Yes! Any adult with spare time and space can foster animals for The Humane Society of Hobart.

What types of animals need foster care?

We are always seeking foster homes for:

  • Underage kittens and puppies
  • Nursing cats and dogs
  • Ill or injured animals that may need regular medication or medical attention
  • Senior dogs and cats.

What pet care supplies will I need?

Humane Society of Hobart provides veterinary care and all medication for foster pets during posted business hours. In addition, we strive to supply each foster parent with a two week supply of wet/dry food, non-clumping litter, etc. since all underage animals will need to return to the shelter for bi-weekly preventative care (vaccines, deworming, etc.). Please note that the distribution of supplies is subject to availability. HSH greatly appreciates the generosity of foster parents who purchase supplies for their foster pets, which helps us to save even more lives!

What is my responsibility?

We request that you follow all guidelines on feeding and medicating your foster pet as given to you by HSH staff. Alert us about any medical or behavioral changes in your foster pet, and keep your scheduled appointments.

How long can I foster an animal?

The length of foster care varies with the needs of the animal and your availability. Depending on those factors, we will determine which type of foster animal will work best for you. We will make every effort to ensure your foster pet’s checkups fit your schedule.

I want to help but I don’t know how to bottle feed. Do you provide training?

Our staff is here to guide you. You can always start with puppies or kittens who are eating on their own and work your way up to bottle feeding. There are also excellent resources online. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

What if I fall in love with my foster pet? Can I keep it?

Foster parents are welcome to adopt in most cases. Remember that some pets may already have a home lined up before you take them to foster care. Foster parents who adopt must complete all adoption paperwork and fees may be included.


Meet one of our Fosters - The Beougher Family

The Beougher Family fosters mamas, puppies and kittens for us. We asked our fosters to answer three questions, and this is what Lindsay Beougher told us:

1) What made you start fostering in the first place?

I work in the mental health field so sometimes I just have rough weeks. Friday afternoons after a tough week, I would come to the shelter to see, pet, and talk to all the animals. Everyone there was always so kind to me and I could see how much they cared for the animals. Being a single mom, I don’t always have the funding to donate money, but with a flexible work schedule, I can donate my time. Fostering is a way to help the shelter by taking care of the babies and the other animal populations that need a little more care. I’m enjoy helping out and offering the mamas especially a safe home to raise their babies until it’s time for them to be weaned and adopted. It also teaches my kids a really great lesson in taking care of those that need our help!

2.What do you love most about fostering?

I love the puppy love the most! It is so fun to sit on the floor and be pummeled by puppy kisses and fluffy butts. It’s also been so rewarding earning the trust of the adult dogs. To see a scared, nervous dog cuddle up on the couch or “ask” for affection, it’s absolutely the sweetest thing.

3. What would you say to someone who is thinking about fostering to encourage them to try it?

To someone thinking about fostering, just try it! It’s a perfect chance to have a home trial, to help out your community, and to make a difference in an animal’s life. If you’re not the animal’s forever home, you would be getting him or her ready for that forever home. The shelter will provide everything you might need in order to take care of the animal including food, bowls, blankets, a crate, etc. All they need is a safe home with someone to love and take care of them. I’m a single mom with two kids, two jobs, and I’m in graduate school part time. In 2019 I fostered 16 puppies, 3 mamas, and 1 kitten. If I can do it, you can too!

Meet one of our Fosters - Shanon Hutch

Shanon fosters cats and kittens for us. We asked our fosters to answer three questions, and this is what Shanon told us:

What made me get into fostering? I have always been an animal lover, supporter & “owner” aka momma. I didn’t realize fostering was a “thing” until social media. I saw the need for money, food, supplies & people to help by giving a home, love and support. Initially I was afraid to foster because I didn’t think I would not be able to give an animal back. This proved true with my first foster “fail” “not fail” Alani, however I have since fostered many cats, kittens& a set of puppies that I have given my love and have cheered from the sidelines when they found their forever home!

#FosterHeroFriday We are highlighting some of our Foster Hero homes for the lifesaving work they do for our animals every single day. Today we are featuring Shan Hutch who fosters cats and kittens for us.

What do I love most about fostering? Fostering is my way to give! Both to the animal & the the organization. I get to have an animal that may have come from a very bad situation, doesn’t know love, or regular feedings. As a foster you get to show that animal love, affection, nurturing, support and what it’s like to live in a caring home.

It also helps the organization by allowing the animal in my home to provide the needed things until it’s ready for adoption.

If you are thinking about fostering...I highly recommend doing it! You will love helping both the shelter and the pet! You will cheer the animals successes; eating, potty-ing in a box or going outside, purring, licking, cuddling, and socializing with your family & possibly even your pets!

Does it hurt sometimes? Yes. Sometimes. But I promise the successes far outweigh the fails & even when it hurts to let go... you are so happy for the animals forever happiness! I love being a foster! You may love it too!!! Just try!

Meet one of our Fosters - The Ringer Family

The Ringer Family fosters kittens for us. We asked our fosters to answer three questions, and this is what Rachel Ringer told us:

1) What made you start fostering in the first place?

After starting to foster last spring, we’ve been hooked! We currently have 5 bottle babies (last picture)! We started fostering because we wanted to help animals in need, and it was something our whole family could participate in.

2) What do you love most about fostering?

Our favorite part about fostering is watching them grow, interact, and develop their individual personalities.

3) What would you say to someone who is thinking about fostering to encourage them to try it?

Do it! It’s not as hard as you might think. The love you get from the animals makes the extra work all worth it. And cuddles are a bonus! ❤️

Meet one of our Fosters - The Cardona Family

The Cardona Family fosters kittens and puppies for us. We asked our fosters to answer three questions, and this is what Caris Cardona told us:

1) What made you start fostering in the first place? I went in to help with laundry and saw a litter of puppies that needed a foster home. I could not resist once I saw them.

2) What do you love most about fostering? Having puppies around is the best medicine! They are so great to snuggle with at the end of the day to relax, and my other 2 dogs love acting like Mamma dogs to our foster puppies.

3) What would you say to someone who is thinking about fostering to encourage them to try it? Meet with a current foster first to get ideas and tips, like setting up a puppy pen area. After our 4th foster litter, we finally came up with a way to protect our flooring and keep the puppies safe and comfortable.

Meet one of our Fosters - Terry O'Donnell

Terry has fostered just about everything for us: kittens, medical cases, behavior cases. She is always up for whatever we need help with! We asked our fosters to answer three questions, and this is what Terry told us:

1. What made you start fostering in the first place? I started fostering to help animals at the shelter. Giving them love and helping build their trust and find them furever homes.

2. What do you love most about fostering?

I love that moment when you just know you have found the perfect adopter for your foster.

3. What would you say to someone thinking about fostering to encourage them to try it?

I tell people if you foster you are opening up another spot for a homeless animal at the shelter and by fostering you are able to tell the new adopter about the animal in your care. The pics are of baby a senior sight impaired dog who was found in the winter. . She was the sweetest ever. Her vision didn't stop her. Thanks to social media she found the perfect home and goes on vacation and boating. The shelter was not the right place for her. She was in the corner shaking.

Updated 07-19-2020, Caris@hshobart.org