Fostering for Red Paw Emergency Relief Team is a unique experience, and different than fostering for other organizations. Our animals are people’s pets, they are owned and loved and need a temporary foster home until their owners can recover from their home disaster. If you are interested in fostering for Red Paw, please follow the steps detailed below and check out our Foster Frequently Asked Questions page.
Step 1: Complete our foster application here. Our foster application includes questions on whether you rent/own, how many animals you currently have, if your pets are spayed/neutered and up to date with vaccines, and for your current or past veterinarian’s contact information. You will also be asked how you would deal with ‘unwanted’ behaviors from your foster animal. Every question is important! Please complete the application with as much detail as possible.)
Step 2: Application process. Your application will be reviewed to see if you are a good fit for our foster program. We will call your veterinary and personal references. If your vet requires your approval before releasing any information about your pet, please call them in advance. We will contact you with any questions we have about your application, or if we need more information. Once you are approved, you will receive a welcome call from one of our current foster volunteers who can talk to you more about our foster program. You will also receive a welcome email with our foster manual and information about being a part of the Red Paw volunteer team.
Step 3: Ready to foster! You will be placed on Red Paw’s foster email list to receive communications about our foster needs. When you’re interested in fostering a specific animal and you’re selected as the foster home, you will receive information about where the pet is located. You may pick the animal up, or Red Paw can arrange transportation to your home. If you need supplies while you foster, please let us know and we will provide them.
Step 4: Weekly check-ins. Weekly check-ins are required of the owner and foster. Fosters are pictures and information about how the foster animal is doing. Red Paw will update the foster on the owner’s timeline for taking their animal back home. Red Paw will update the owner on how their pet is doing in foster care, and we will ask the owner any specific questions the foster may have about their pet. There is no direct contact between the owner and foster; Red Paw will handle all communication.
Step 5: Reunion time! When the animal is ready to be reunited with its owners, you will be notified and we’ll arrange a time for a transport volunteer to pick up your foster animal. Prior to the reunion, you will have received a reunion kit (basic supplies to assist the family who likely has lost everything in the disaster) that will go home with the pet. The transport volunteer will take photos of the reunion that will be shared on our social media pages.
Step 6: Surrendered animals The goal of Red Paw is to reunite pets with their families once recovered from the disaster that displaced them from their homes. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible, for a variety of reasons. The owners may find a new place to live that isn’t pet friendly, it may just be too hard, or take too long to recover from losing everything, and the best thing for their pet is to surrender them to Red Paw.