Are you a Fabulous Foster?
Through Citrus County Animal Service’s (CCAS) foster program, thousands of animals have received special care before getting a second chance at life. Many animals that come to CCAS each year will need or benefit from foster care before they are ready to find new homes. Foster parents provide temporary care for cats, kittens, dogs, and puppies in their home. Some animals need as little as a day outing, while others may need care for up to three months.
At any time we could need support from fosters for dogs and cats in the following areas:
Supportive medical care (1-4+ weeks)
Moms with litters of puppies or kittens (2-8 weeks)
Orphaned underage puppies or kittens (2-8 weeks)
Stress reduction (1 day – 2+ weeks)
Fostering is flexible enough for most lifestyles and CCAS will make every effort to match an animal to the perfect foster home. By offering your time, energy, love, resources, and home to an animal in need, you prepare them for adoption into a permanent home as well as help prevent overcrowding in our shelter.
Citrus County Animal Service provides all necessary veterinary care and medicine for foster animals, plus plenty of support to fosters. Additionally, we will provide food, crate, toys, other basic supplies, and care instructions.
Everyone knows nothing is cuter than kittens! But every year, millions of kittens need help and don’t always get the care they need. This is particularly true during kitten season, from early spring through late summer, when the most litters are born and people are more likely to find kittens and bring them to shelters. Kitten fosters help to keep these fragile babies out of the shelter so that they can grow into healthy, loving pets.
The amount of care that kittens require depends on their age and health, varying from simple to intensive around-the-clock care. All kittens will have regularly scheduled appointments for health checks and vaccinations every 2 weeks. Once the kittens have reached 8 weeks they stay at the shelter for spay/neuter surgery and then go up for adoption.
Nursing Queens with kittens: All they need is a safe space in your home, such as a large dog crate or spare bathroom. Mom does all the hard work – you just provide the food and get to cuddle kittens!
Bottle Babies: Kittens without a mom require bottle feeding from birth until 3 weeks of age. Bottle feeding can be difficult but is always extremely rewarding, and you get to watch the babies grow from jelly beans to real, functioning cats!
Underage weaned kittens: Once kittens have been weaned from bottles (around 3-4 weeks), they gradually start eating more solid food and learn to play and explore. These kittens need regular socialization to make them friendly pets until they are old enough for adoption, so the foster gets the difficult task of regular kitten snuggles and play time!
Short Term Fosters
With busy lives, many people like the flexibility of having short-term foster options. The short timeframe makes it easy for busy volunteers and fosters (who may not have the ability to take a dog fulltime) to get them out of the shelter and get to know them better and share in their story to adoption. Participants are able to fill out a Pet Profiles on the dog(s) they walked – these notes will be added to the dog’s profile. This way, potential adopters and the shelter’s adoption staff can see how the dog interacted with people and other animals outside of the shelter environment to help better match them with a perfect home.
Are you a Weekend Warrior?
Overnight and weekend (two days or more) foster care is a great way to get to know shelter dogs better, reduce kennel stress and find new ways to market them for adoption. No sign-up is needed; volunteers and fosters can come to the shelter and take a dog on an overnight foster.
Are you a Day Dreamer?
Day Dream fosters take a dog off the shelter grounds for an outing, which can last from an hour to all day. Fosters can take dogs to their homes or to fun places that make for great photo opportunities to help market the dogs for adoption.
Fostering is an immensely rewarding experience, and it changes animals’ lives in a very direct way. Your act of kindness is repaid in rewards that are beyond words. Thank you so much for your interest in fostering with Citrus County Animal Services. If you are interested in volunteering or have any questions about the process of signing up, please contact our foster coordinator.Leigh Sweet
Citrus County Animal Service