**Currently seeking cat and kitten foster volunteers!!**

Are you ready to open your heart and home to an animal in need, but are not ready to adopt for one reason or another? Now could be the perfect time to become a foster volunteer through the Bideawee Todd B. Richter Foster Program. Bideawee takes in a vast array of puppies, kittens, cats and dogs who are not yet ready for adoption. The Bideawee team works around the clock to provide for all of the animals in our care, but our space and resources fill up quickly. Each time an animal is taken out of our Adoption Center and placed into a loving home to be fostered, it provides us with more opportunities to help other animals who need our special care and attention.

If you live in the New York City area and are interested in becoming a foster for Bideawee, please complete the Foster Questionnaire and you will be contacted by a Foster Team Member.

Questions? Contact the Foster Team

  • Why do animals need foster care?

    Animals that are not ready for adoption are sent to foster care including kittens and puppies that are under eight weeks old, nursing dogs and cats with their litter, orphaned infant animals that require bottle-feeding, animals that are sick, recovering from surgery, or being treated for a medical condition, and animals that have behavioral issues such as litter box avoidance, separation anxiety, or shyness/under socialized.

  • Can I choose which types of pets I foster?

    Yes. Foster volunteers can choose to foster just dogs, just cats, or both. Some volunteers just foster kittens or puppies, while others help with our more needy medical and behavioral cases. All foster assignments are voluntary; you will never be forced to take on an assignment.

  • How long do I keep the foster pet(s)?

     The length of each foster assignment will depend on the needs of the individual animal. The typical length of a foster assignment is 4 weeks. Young kittens and puppies stay in foster care until they are eight weeks old. Animals with behavioral or medical issues will stay in foster care until they are ready for adoption. During the foster period, animals may be required to come back to the shelter for medical check-ups and behavioral evaluations. In some cases, volunteers will keep the foster pets until we are able to place them up for adoption.

  • What are the risks of fostering shelter pets?

    Shelter pets come from a variety of backgrounds, and it is often hard to gauge how they will behave in a home environment. While we will do our best to provide you with information on the pet's medical and behavioral history, we cannot make any guarantees about how they will be in your home. We cannot guarantee that a foster pet will be house-broken or litter box trained, or if he will be destructive if left alone.

  • Can I return my foster to Bideawee if I am unable to foster any longer?

    We prefer that foster parents continue to foster until it’s time for the pet to be returned and be put up for adoption. However, we understand that situations change and it may be necessary to discontinue fostering. We request that a foster parent provides as much notice as possible (minimum 1 week) so that we can find an alternative foster home to transfer the pet to. Of course, in an emergency, a foster parent may always bring their foster pet back as needed.  In such cases, contact the Foster Team immediately.

  • What do I do if my foster animal becomes sick or injured?

    Foster volunteers are responsible for monitoring foster pets on a daily basis for any sign of illness or injury. We ask that you call Bideawee immediately if you notice anything "unusual" with your foster animal. Please keep your Foster Care Management Contact Information sheet handy for easy reference.
     
    Our medical staff will be available to see foster animals that become sick or injured during their foster stay. In some cases, volunteers may be asked to administer medication at home, or animals may have to stay at the shelter for hospitalization until they are well. For after-hours emergencies, volunteers are able to use the services of local 24-hour veterinary emergency clinics.

  • What if the Foster caregiver wants to adopt their Foster pet?

    If the Foster caregiver is interested in adopting one of their Foster pets they should inform the Foster Team immediately. At that point the Foster Care Management Team will guide the Foster caregiver though the process of adopting their four legged companion.

  • Am I responsible for finding a home for my foster pet?

    No. Foster pets must be returned to Bideawee at the end of their foster period. Once they are cleared for adoption, we will advertise them as "available" and place them in an appropriate home. All potential adopters must be approved by our adoption counselor through our adoption application and interview process.  We ask that if volunteers find a home for the animal to please have the individual accompany you to Bideawee at the end of your foster care assignment.
     
    We also ask volunteers to help us to advertise their foster pets by submitting a Foster Care Release Form and high-quality photos for use to showcase in their file and on our website.

  • Can I foster if I work full-time?

    Yes. Many of our foster volunteers have full-time jobs, and most foster pets can be left alone for up to eight hours at a time. We provide a crate or cattery for your foster pet to be kept in when they are not being supervised. However, some animals, such as bottle-feeding infants, under-socialized and sick animals, cannot be left for extended periods of time. They will be fostered by volunteers that are able to accommodate their needs.  Foster pets do require an adequate amount of human socialization; at least two hours a day of time spent socializing your foster animal(s) is recommended.

  • Can I foster if I have other pets at home?

    Yes. Most of our foster volunteers have pets of their own. You will want to have a separate area (such as a spare bedroom), in which to keep your foster pet(s). Although foster pets receive a medical examination before leaving the shelter, we cannot guarantee that they are not harboring a contagious illness. Volunteers with their own pets can reduce some of the risks of fostering pets by keeping your own pets up to date on their vaccines, and by keeping foster pets separated from other animals in the household. Please keep in mind that if your pet is elderly, sickly or has a weakened immune system please consult with your private vet of the risk associated with your pet acquiring some sort of illness.

  • Can I foster if I have children?

     Yes. Fostering is a great way for children to learn about caring for animals and giving back to the community. All foster care applicants must be 21 years old or be supervised by an adult guardian, but children can participate in foster care with their parents. Some animals are not appropriate for homes with children, and we will do our best to make sure to send you with appropriate assignments based on the age of the youngest child in your household. While children can participate in the care of foster animals, young children should never be left alone with any animals.

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