Become a Pet Foster for ICACS

Foster families are essential to the Ingham County Animal Shelter because they provide necessary 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 exactly is a foster home?

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

Why would an animal need a foster home?

  • The animal is an orphan who is too young to be spayed or neutered.
  • The animal is pregnant or nursing.
  • The animal has a medical condition.
  • The animal has behavioral issues.
  • The animal needs socialization.
  • The animal needs to go into witness protection.

What are the responsibilities of a foster parent?

  • Provide adequate food and shelter in a safe and loving environment.
  • If medical attention is required, the foster parent would administer medications and follow up care as instructed by the veterinarian.
  • Provide updated information about their foster animal including pictures and biographies.
  • Provide exercise, basic training and opportunities to socialize their foster animal.

I want to be a pet foster parent!

If you think your home would be a good fit, you can fill out this form and our foster coordinator will reach out with more information on how to apply.  If you have more questions, please read our frequently asked questions below.

Pet Foster Frequently Asked Questions
If I have resident animals, am I still eligible to foster?

Yes! Many of our current foster homes have resident animals. We do require your resident animals to be current on vaccinations as well as appropriate licensing and preventatives.

Are there any financial commitments I have to make if I become a foster? What supplies will ICACS provide?
ICACS will provide all supplies necessary for the care of the foster animal including medical.
How often do I have to foster?

There are no requirements on how often you have to foster. We do recommend taking breaks in between fosters though.

Are there any training requirements to become a pet foster?
Here at the shelter we use a Fear Free approach with the animals in our care so we want our fosters to do the same with the animals they bring home.

You will be required to obtain your Fear Free certification prior to or during your first foster experience. This is a free online program that you will be able to do at your own pace. 
Do we get to choose our foster pets?

You will be able to give our foster coordinator your preferences on the types of animals you’d be willing to foster.

When we have animals in need of foster, they will be posted on our volunteer and foster Facebook page. If you are interested, you will be able to comment and the foster coordinator will reach out if they think your home will be a good fit.

How long will I have my foster pet?

Length of stay can vary depending on the type of pet you will be fostering. You will always be given an estimate in advance on how long you will have a particular foster animal.

If a foster home has a foster pet that is not a good match in their home or something unexpected arises that does not allow the foster home to keep the pet, we ask that they call the shelter immediately.

Can I adopt my foster pet?

Absolutely! Many foster families decide that they would like a foster pet to become a permanent member of their family.

Once you make that decision, you will need to contact the foster coordinator to start the adoption process to ensure that you will be first in line. Foster families are still asked to go through the normal adoption process and pay adoption fees.

How do I start the process of becoming a pet foster for ICACS?
Start by filling out this form.  Your information will be sent to our foster coordinator, who will contact you with information on how to become a foster for ICACS. 

If you are unable to fill out the form, please call the shelter during our normal business hours.  All of our contact information and hours can be found here.