Thank you for considering becoming a foster parent for the lifesaving Delco SPCA! We pride ourselves in helping more than 3,000 orphaned animals every year and could not save that many without the help of dedicated foster families. Fostering is one of the most rewarding things you will ever do because you have the ability to touch the lives of so many orphaned animals.
Foster families are needed all year round to care for puppies and kittens that are too young for adoption when they first arrive to our lifesaving center until the pet can be spayed/neutered and placed up for adoption. Temporary foster care is also consistently needed for animals that need time to heal from sickness or neglect. Other animals may need some basic training and socialization to be suitable for a forever home. And some just need a short break from kennel life for a “sleepover” in a home to relax, destress and recharge. Foster volunteers take such animals into their homes and provide a nurturing environment for them.
Every animal that is placed into a foster home means another life we can bring to the Adoption Center and therefore save!
Applications may be submitted:
- Via e-mail to our Foster Coordinator, Mark Walker
- In person at the Delco SPCA or by mail to 555 Sandy Bank Road, Media, PA 19063
- Via fax 610-565-1176
For further information, email Foster Coordinator Mark Walker, or call 610-566-1370 x213.
What is a foster parent/family?
A volunteer foster parent cares for an animal(s) in his/her home that needs to be out of the Adoption Center for variety of reasons including age, illness, injury, socialization or to help provide needed space at the Adoption Center for incoming animals. Foster parents provide a clean, safe, loving environment for the animals in their homes.
How long is the foster care commitment?
The length of foster care for each animal varies depending on its needs. Fostering may last a weekend, two weeks or several months. We have a need for foster parents throughout the year for dogs, cats, puppies and kittens.
What are the expenses for a foster parent?
Foster homes should be prepared to provide food, water, litter, crates and toys for their foster pets. Occasionally these items will be available to foster homes for free when the Adoption Center has extra donations. The Delco SPCA provides medical care free of charge for all foster animals through our Shelter Health Department. Foster parents incur expenses traveling to the Delco SPCA facility for medical care, as necessary.
What are the requirements for foster parents?
Prospective foster parents complete an application, which is reviewed by a member of the Foster Care team. If you have pets, all must be up-to-date on their vaccines (we require rabies and recommend distemper and additionally bordetella for dogs, given every 6 months) and all must be spayed/neutered, although some rare exceptions may apply. We reserve the right to do a home inspection once all references are checked. We strongly recommend a spare room to keep your foster animals in, at least initially.
What if I foster a pet and fall in love – can I adopt?
Absolutely! We just ask that you let the Foster Coordinator know as soon as possible that you intend to adopt your foster pet. You must then come to the Adoption Center to process the proper paperwork and pay the adoption fee.
I want to foster an animal as a trial adoption, is this allowed?
We do allow foster-to-adopt (aka trial adoptions) in certain situations. If you are interested in learning more about fostering-to-adopt, see below.
- Are you at least 18 years of age? Though we encourage children to be a part of the fostering experience, adults are required to be the primary caregivers of the foster animals in the home.
- Are you able to separate the foster animals from your own animals? Because some foster animals have limited immunity, it is best to keep them in a spare room initially. When outside, puppies and dogs must be supervised in an enclosed yard or on a leash. Kittens and cats much be kept indoors at all times.
If you are unable to temporarily open your home to an animal at this time, you can still help make a difference by making a donation.
make a donation
At the Delco SPCA, our goal is save as many lives as possible. With 9,000 unwanted animals all across the country being euthanized every day we feel a responsibility to help as many as we can, regardless of where they are from.
Through our TAILS program we have been able to bring many cats, dogs, puppies and kittens from high risk shelters to our safe haven. We take many animals from local shelters and also help shelters in the South – we even had some dogs come from California!
While many homes are ready to take the plunge and adopt we understand that other families might need the process to be a bit slower. As a result, we created the Foster-to-Adopt (FTA) program. The FTA program allows homes to take an animal temporarily in order to assess if the animal is a right fit for them. The Delco SPCA FTA program is mainly used for puppies and kittens but can also be used for approved adult dogs and cats.
As a foster-to-adopt parent for puppies and kittens, you are agreeing to keep the pet in your home under “quarantine” from other pets and public places until a series of vaccinations have been given and you have signed the Delco SPCA adoption contract. Generally the “quarantine” period is 10-14 days but may be longer depending on the age and health of the animal. Once this period is complete and the pet is happy, healthy and ready for spay/neuter surgery, you can then make the adoption official or choose to return the pet to the Adoption Center to be adopted by another family.
As a foster-to-adopt parent for select adult dogs and cats, you are able to make sure the animal is a good fit for your home, lifestyle and activity level. This is also a good opportunity to introduce them to children and other animals slowly and properly. Generally homes are given 5-7 days to “test drive” the dog, and 3-4 weeks for cats, before they must make a decision to adopt or continue to foster the animal while s/he is promoted for adoption online. An essential part of fostering-to-adopt an adult animal is that they get out of the shelter environment; therefore, we expect you as a FTA parent to keep the animal in your home until a new foster home, or better yet an adopter, can be found.
Call the Delco SPCA at 610-566-1370 x 0 for more information about fostering-to-adopt a needy pet today from the Delco SPCA!