What animals qualify for the foster care program?
For the safety of our foster families, animals who show aggressive behavior toward people do not qualify for our foster care program.
What are the requirements to becoming a foster care volunteer?
  • Stressed Animals: Animals who have been at the shelter and show signs of behavioral or physical changes due to the stress.
  • Young Animals: Puppies and kittens less than 8 weeks of age. This also includes nursing mothers and her puppies or kittens.
  • Injured or Sick Animals: Animals with temporary but treatable health problems, such as those with fractures, wounds, or are under-weight.
  • Under-socialized Animals: Young animals who have not been socialized well to people or other animals.
  • Animals for Overpopulation: Healthy animals for whom there is no space in the shelter. This also includes animals going to breed rescue.
  • Any other animal deemed appropriate by shelter management.
  • Medical care foster cat:
  • Separate room for foster cat where you can close the door and keep it separate from other pets and children. The room should be large enough to house a large dog crate (the catís house). A guest room, large bathroom, sun room or large, empty closet often work well for this.
  • Daily Time Commitment: You will need approximately 15 minutes to medicate the cat and possibly treat and examine wounds in the morning and evening. Once a day, you will need about 20 minutes to clean the catís house.  You will need some time to socialize  the cat as its activity level allows.
  • Transportation: You will need to be able to transport the cat back to shelter at 1-2 week intervals  for rechecks. Should the catís condition suddenly deteriorate, you should be able to take it to an emergency vet (with EHS staff permission) or back to the shelter on very short notice (not common)
  • Your current cats will need to be up to date on their vaccinations and you will need to practice basic hygiene when handling the foster cat and then going back into the rest of your home.
  • You will need to commit to up to 2 months of care until the cat is healthy and ready to be adopted
  • You need to be willing to make the cat available to meet adopters, once it is ready, at the shelter or at offsite adoption events, as instructed by staff.
  • Foster cat in need of socializing
  • You should have a separate room for your foster cat where you can close the door and keep it separate from other pets and children. The room should be large enough to house a large dog crate. It should be free of narrow hiding places or you should be able to block these off. A guest room, large bathroom, sun room or large, empty closet often work well for this.
  • You will need about 20 minutes once a day to clean the catís house. You will need about 15 minutes 2-3 times per day to work with the cat on socializing.  You will need to provide music to soothe the cat.  You will need access to laundry facilities to wash cat laundry (towels and beds).
  • Transportation: You should be able to take the cat to an emergency vet (with EHS staff permission)or back to the shelter on very short notice (not a common occurrence) if the cat suddenly becomes ill or gets injured.
  • Your current cats will need to be up to date on their vaccinations and you will need to practice basic hygiene when handling the foster cat and then going back into the rest of your home.
  • You will need to commit to up to 6 months of care until the cat is more calm, friendlier and ready to be adopted. You should be willing to help prepare a plan to help transition the cat to its new home.
  • You need to be willing to make the cat available to meet adopters, once it is ready, at the shelter or at offsite adoption events, as instructed to by staff.
  • You should have a separate room for your foster kittens where you can close the door and keep them separate from other pets and children. The room should be large enough to house a large dog crate. It should be free of narrow hiding places or you should be able to block these off. A guest room, large bathroom, sun room or large, empty closet often work well for this.
  • You will need about 20 minutes twice a day to clean the kittensí house. You will need about 1 hour once or twice per day to exercise and socialize the kittens (you may not need to be with them that entire time). 
  • Transportation: You will need to bring the kittens back to the shelter at two-week intervals for deworming, weighing and vaccinations. You may also need to bring them for veterinary care in case they develop any of the common kitten ailments such as sneezing or diarrhea. You should be able to take a kitten to an emergency vet (with EHS staff permission)or back to the shelter on very short notice (not a common occurrence) if the kitten suddenly becomes ill or gets injured.
  • Your current cats will need to be up to date on their vaccinations and you will need to practice basic hygiene when handling the foster kittens.
  • You will need to commit to up to 3 months of care depending on the age of the kittens.  You need to be willing to make the kittens available to meet adopters, once they are ready, either at the shelter or at offsite adoption events, as instructed to you by EHS staff.
  • How can I become a foster care volunteer?
  • Fill out a foster care application and have it approved by the program coordinator.
  • Attend a foster care volunteer orientation.
  • Attend training
  • Have landlord approval if necessary.
  • Host an annual home visit completed by EHS staff.
  • Have adequate space and time to care for foster animals.
  • Be willing to spend a large amount of time and energy with an animal that will be returning to the shelter for adoption.
  • Our foster families provide life-changing support for our special needs companion animals. Our program places young, frightened, undersocialized, or special medical needs companion animals into short-term homes to receive individualized extra care until they are ready for adoption. We provide everything our animal may need - you provide the safe, caring home environment.

    We are actively recruiting temporary foster homes. If you are interested in participating in the adult cat program, please contact volunteer@escondidohumanesociety.org or (760) 888-2270. For the kitten program, contact Staci Fitzgerald at stacif@escondidohumanesociety.org.
    Kitten foster
    Escondido Humane Society | 3450 East Valley Parkway, Escondido CA 92027 | (760) 888 - BARK (2275)
    Adoption Center open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week | Animal Control open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week
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