Foster homes enable the Humane Society of Sarasota County to expand our ability to care for animals far beyond the walls of our facility. Volunteers with compassionate hearts and a desire to make a difference are essential in helping our pets in need by offering temporary care in their homes. Being a foster parent is an extremely rewarding experience, and it saves lives.

In-Home Fostering:
Fostering is a critical program to all animal welfare organizations; without it, countless pets may not have a second chance at life. You will learn about the pet’s personality and likes and dislikes so that he or she can be better matched to the perfect forever home. Our dedicated foster volunteers are critical to reducing the amount of time our animals live in the shelter.

Why Foster
Foster families provide lifesaving care for kittens and puppies too young to adopt, medically recovering animals, and those just needing a break from shelter life. Many more animals will have their best chance for a permanent home because a foster parent stepped up to help at a critical time.

Fostering is fun, educational, even messy; although most of all, it is rewarding. HSSC will provide everything you need to care for the animal. All you need to donate is your love, labor, and time. Time commitments average two to six weeks, depending upon the needs of the animal.

HSSC Provides:
*Animal Essentials: Food, Bowls, Crates/Carriers, Litter and Litter Box, Collars and Leashes, Toys, Towels, and Beds
*Support: Assistance from Staff, Training Manuals, and an After-Hours Emergency Number
*All Veterinary Care

Foster Parent Provides:
*A safe, loving environment for feeding, care, and socialization.
*A room (or space) to keep foster animals separate from resident animals.
*Transportation to and from HSSC for vaccines and medical check-ups.
*Information on behavior traits to help with finding their permanent home.

How to Get Started:
*You must be 18 years old or have a parent or guardian on your behalf.
*Please CLICK HERE to create an account on VolunteerHub. Once you have your account, you can fill out the Foster Application. If you are under 18, you must have your parent or guardian complete the foster application and all program requirements.
*You do not need to be a HSSC volunteer to foster, but you are welcome to do both.
*You will be contacted by phone or email, within five business days, after we receive your application.
*Once contacted, we will answer any questions you may have and will set you up to be an official HSSC Foster Parent.
*We frequently have to place foster animals quickly, usually within 48 hours, so please be easily accessible while committing your time.

Existing Foster Volunteers:
*Please CLICK HERE to access VolunteerHub.

Adoption Ambassadors:

The Adoption Ambassador program is an ASPCA initiative that empowers volunteers to foster a pet, promote the animal in their community, identify potential adopters, and finalize the adoption process. ASPCA research has shown that programs like Adoption Ambassadors help reach a new pool of adopters and result in lower return rates than traditional shelter adoptions. Not only are lives saved, but space, time, and resources are freed up at shelters.

Unlike traditional fosters, who often care for the most vulnerable animals – motherless puppies and kittens, animals recovering from illnesses, pets with behavioral conditions – Adoption Ambassadors act as in-home foster parents and publicists for the otherwise-adoptable animals that simply need extra exposure in order to get adopted. Adoption Ambassadors are matched with a cat or dog, given brightly colored “Adopt Me” vests or collars, and instructed to take the pet out into the community as much as possible. Because the Adoption Ambassadors have first-hand experience with their foster pets, they are in a position to make a good match. HSSC trains Ambassadors to process the adoption on the spot. The adopter need never come to the shelter.

Funding for the Adoption Ambassadors program is provided by grant from the ASPCA.

Not enough time to foster? Here are some similar volunteer opportunities:  

For more information on any of the programs, please email or call 941.955-4131 x113