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What is Fostering?


Without a shelter, the Hickman Humane Society is forced to rely on foster homes to house the animals between trips to the adoption events until they find their loving permanent home.  The HHS needs foster parents to provide safe, loving and nurturing environments for its rescued dogs and puppies, cats and kittens (hereinafter referred to as animals).  Although HHS maintains ownership of the animals, foster parents are responsible for the health and well being of the animals in their care.  

Fostering is an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Foster parents must consider the time commitment involved in fostering. HHS strives to provide a stable and continued foster home environment for these animals with as little disruption and change as possible.

Some of the animals that HHS rescues are in need of a foster home for a short period of time, while others need more extensive medical treatment.  HHS works with vets in the area to provide the best treatment available.  For some animals, recovery is a long and painful process.  Fosters take these special needs animals into their homes to provide a loving and nurturing environment while they recover.

If you are interested in fostering an animal, please complete the online application below or print and mail application here.  Any questions, please contact us at 866-304-3352.

HHS Fostering Guidelines are provided with the best of intentions towards the welfare of the animals in our care.  All foster parents must comply with the fostering guidelines as follows:

Initial Animal Care

Supplies: HHS will provide medical care and food, litter, toys, scratching posts, cat trees, blankets, etc.

Medical Care: All medical care is funded by HHS.  HHS has special arrangements to work with specific local veterinarians, and visits to these clinics are arranged by the HHS Coordinators. 

  • Each rescued animal receives an initial check-up with one of these veterinarians and is tested for FeLV and Parvo.

  • Occasionally, viruses and other sicknesses do come undetected into a foster home. HHS will work with the foster to provide the best protection possible for the foster family and pets.

  • Each animal receives vaccinations commensurate with its age.

  • All animals in the foster system are spayed or neutered when their age and health condition permits.

  • All animals are microchipped to provide the utmost protection if the animal is lost after going to its new home.


Ongoing Animal Care

Foster parents are responsible for monitoring the health of their foster animal at all times.  The foster cats must not be declawed, and must be kept indoors only at all times and never in a garage.  The foster dogs must not be left outdoors all day and should receive acceptable exercise daily.

  • Foster parents are responsible for keeping track of the dates for vaccinations, spay/neuter, and other medical procedures that occur to each animal.

  • Baby animal foster parents are additionally in charge of monitoring the animals’ weight, mental development and growth.

  • Cat’s nails require trimming every few weeks and they should be introduced to using scratching posts.

  • Animals should be groomed to maintain a healthy coat and appearance.

  • If an animal shows signs of illness, contact an HHS Coordinator immediately.  If an animal needs professional medical attention, HHS will arrange this as promptly as possible.

  • If a foster animal is ill, keep an accurate log of the details such as the animal’s signs, symptoms, and circumstances.

  • Some animals are timid, having had no or negative human interaction.  These animals are “special needs” and require an additional level of commitment.


Going to Adoptions

A primary goal of fostering is to find a permanent loving home for the foster animals.  A foster parent must transport the foster animals to and from adoptions. If unable to do so, it may be possible to make other arrangements.

  • HHS is committed to providing healthy animals for adoption.  Those who are healing from injuries, illness or whose behavioral issues are being addressed may not be brought into adoptions.

  • All prospective adopters are interviewed, including foster parents and their friends and family who are interested in adoption. 

  • Do not advertise HHS foster animals for adoption on your own, as the advertising is done by HHS. 

  • If a foster parent moves, the foster animals must be returned to the HHS. 

  • If a foster parent can no longer foster they must immediately advise the HHS, as arrangements for a new foster parent takes time.

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