Foster Program

Foster families are essential to the Ingham County Animal Shelter since they provide care to shelter animals in their home. Foster animals can be with a foster family anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, and are a valuable resource used to place shelter animals in homes that fit their needs.

What is an Ingham County Animal Shelter Foster Home?

A foster home is a temporary living arrangement for shelter animals in need of extra care otherwise difficult to provide in a shelter environment.

What types of animals qualify as a foster candidate?

Foster care is used for animals who are old, injured, nursing or those who have been adjusting well to living in a shelter environment.

Why is the foster care program so important?

  1. Foster care enhances adoptability of animals by providing socialization in a loving environment.
  2. Foster care alleviates overcrowding at the shelter.
  3. Foster animals are often happier after receiving individualized care provided by foster families making them more adoptable
  4. Often a foster caregiver can provide more accurate information to any prospective adopters, e.g., are they housebroken?, do they like children or other animals?, what are their fears?, etc.

What are the responsibilities of the foster parent?

1.     The foster parent agrees to provide adequate food and shelter in a safe and loving environment

2.     If medical attention is required, the foster parent agrees to administer medications and follow up care as instructed by the veterinarian

3.     If the fostered pet is considered adoptable, the foster parent makes every effort to transport the animal to and from pet adoption events during the foster care period. You are not required to stay at the event.

4.     Foster parents provide updated information about their animal including pictures and bios

5.     If the foster pet needs to be returned, the foster parents are to notify ICACS 48 hours in advance so that other arrangements may be made for care.

6.     The foster parent is responsible for returning the pet to the shelter when instructed. In some cases, the animal may have to be returned periodically during foster care for checkups or medical care.

7.     The foster parent understands that the animals are the sole property of ICACS and therefore agrees not to sell, trade, or give the animal away. It is understood that any adoption of the fostered animal must take place only through ICACS.

8.     Because foster care homes must be approved before an animal is placed, the foster parent agrees not to place the animal in any other home.

Steps to follow to become a foster caregiver:

1.     An application and driving release form are completed by the prospective foster parent

2.     Applicant attends a Foster Parent Orientation at the shelter

3.     ICACS visits the foster care home

4.     Foster animals are placed in a foster home as needed, and all necessary information about the animal will be provided to the foster family

5.     ICACS monitors the progress of the foster animal and keeps the foster parent informed of any scheduled pet adoption events or need for the animal to be brought back to the shelter

Get the online foster form here: Current Foster Application

At this time, Foster Orientations are done by appointment, if you are interested in more details about fostering a pet with ICAC, please contact the volunteer coordinator at 517-676-8311.