On Being a Foster Home for DAWS

Contributed by Fran Hendrickson, Foster Mom

An Urgent Need

The phone call or pleading email comes suddenly from a DAWS representative – an emergency situation has occurred in an animal’s life and a foster home is needed – who can help?

That’s how it starts. It may be a single kitten found without a mother, a pregnant momma cat left to fend for herself or a whole litter of orphaned kittens – or a dog or puppy in desperate need. Whatever the case – the need is urgent. After evaluation by an authorized DAWS volunteer or a veterinarian, and depending on the nature of the emergency, an appropriate foster home is called. The foster parent provides safety, security, appropriate food and medical care if needed in a loving temporary home. Any necessary medications are provided by DAWS and discussed thoroughly with the foster parent.

Who is eligible to be a foster home for DAWS?

At least one person in the household must be 21 years or older and a homeowner, or have approval from their landlord. An application to foster is provided by DAWS and, upon application and approval, the DAWS foster coordinator discusses with the foster parent the appropriate type and age of animal and the projected amount of care best handled by the new home.

Examples of need:

Three kittens were found after the momma cat was killed overnight by a predator. They were brought to DAWS and examined by the veterinarian. A foster Mom was called. She picked up the kittens along with some KMR (Kitten Milk Replacer) and a bottle set and directions about giving oral worming meds at proper times. Any questions or complications were handled in cooperation with the appropriate DAWS contact. Support is always available.

A dog needs a forever home but is too frightened by the confusion and noise at the shelter. A foster home provides the support and encouragement in a safe and loving environment. If the need arises, a training program designed by a DAWS Volunteer Behavioral Specialist will help the dog gain confidence and have good manners to bring to their forever home. For dogs recovering from surgery or with a new litter due, the Foster Home is ideal.

In 2012, DAWS foster families cared for 78 puppies and 154 kittens!

foster_collageHelping Animals Through Tough Times

One of the joys of fostering is to see kittens or puppies grow and learn. From the first eyes on the world to the first staggering steps, to learning to play with toys and run and wrestle, these babies are a constant source of surprise and comic actions. Adult dogs or cats learn to be themselves again and enjoy interactions with their temporary human caregivers. It’s a win-win situation for all involved. Fostering is work – but it is hands-on caring that aides helpless, needy, unwanted pets through their tough times. This meets one of the goals of DAWS by working to keep homeless pets safe, happy and sheltered.

Become a Foster Home

Learn how to become a foster volunteer.

Share your own foster story!

Are you – or have you been – a foster parent for DAWS?  Share your stories and pictures on our Facebook group.

What else is going on at DAWS?

Bookmark our home page, www.daws.org, and visit often!