Foster a pet
We rely on a dedicated group of foster volunteers to help us in our mission of saving shelter pets’ lives. While we provide the training, supplies, veterinary care and support, our volunteers provide the open hearts and homes. Together we save the lives of many young animals by preparing them for adoption and opening space in the shelter.
Types of Foster Care Opportunities
KITTEN SEASON LIFESAVERS
Every spring and summer, the shelter is flooded with hundreds of very young kittens. Because kittens must be at least two pounds before they can be spayed or neutered, we need foster volunteers to care for them until they grow to that weight. Additionally, foster homes provide valuable socialization during a critical stage of development. We also need homes for underage puppies and nursing moms with litters.
DOG FIELD TRIP CHAPERONE
Dog Field Trip Chaperones are regular volunteers who are approved to take dogs out of the shelter for a day trip such as the beach or home. This gives our dogs a chance to be seen by more potential adopters and helps with their socialization and exercise.
As part of our lifesaving work, we transport animals across the country to rescues and other shelters. Transport fosters are needed for short term care of animals scheduled to travel. Expenses related to volunteer work may be tax-deductible – consult with your tax professional.
TLC FOSTER HOMES
Some of our animals require more socialization or medical care before becoming eligible for adoption and will benefit from spending time in a home environment. Foster families provide a structured, nurturing environment specific to each shelter pet’s needs.
If fostering a pet seems like something you would be interested in, stop by the shelter, email email@example.com or call (912) 554-7500. The general foster commitment is 2 to 8 weeks but may vary depending on the animal’s needs.
- Any Foster Care volunteer (or the member of a Foster Care family) responsible for driving animals to and from the shelter must provide the following documentation:
- Copy of driver's license
- Proof of current auto insurance
- Must be 18 years of age. Volunteers age 15-17 may be eligible, but at least one parent would need to attend the relevant foster training sessions.
- Must submit a separate Foster Care Application and be approved to foster by the Division Manager. Must be able to have animals where you live.
IS FOSTERING RIGHT FOR ME?
- Does my schedule permit me to spend quality time with my foster animals? In addition to the minimum 3-4 hours a day spent socializing your fosters, you are required to feed, clean-up after, and monitor your fosters for changes in appearance, health and energy levels throughout the day.
- Do all members of my household want to foster? Bringing fosters into your home requires a big commitment from every member of your family. To set the animals up for success, make sure that all family members are onboard.
- Am I willing to keep my medical fosters separate from my own animals? To prevent the spread of disease, it is very important that your foster pets do not have contact with your resident animals. Resident cat(s) must not be allowed outdoors.
- What will be my financial responsibility? GCAC will supply you with basic food and supplies such as bowls, litter, litterbox, blankets, and toys. GCAC will also provide basic medical care at no cost to you.
- Will I be able to follow necessary cleaning protocols? In addition to daily cleaning duties such as litter box, housebreaking, and washing bowls and bedding, you must also follow strict sanitation protocols in between foster groups.
- What would I do if my foster pets cause damage to my house? Part of your job will be to teach your foster pets how to be a well-behaved house pet. In the process, some of your personal belongings may get damaged. GCAC will not be held responsible for any damage caused by your foster animals.
- Am I able to return to the shelter for regular veterinary appointments? Young animals require booster vaccines at least once every 2 -3 weeks. These are provided by GCAC. In addition, you may be required to bring your foster pets to an approved veterinary clinic for any health issues that arise during normal business hours.
- In cases of emergency, can I take my foster pet to an emergency vet? In the event of an emergency you will contact the Division Manager or Kennel Lead. If deemed an emergency, you can take the animal to Brunswick Pet ER.
- Will I be able to return my foster animals to GCAC once the foster period ends? This can be difficult once a bond is formed between you and your fosters. Try to keep in mind that you will save more lives by keeping an open space in your house for new fosters.
- Will I be able to emotionally cope with the death of one my fosters? Unfortunately, not all foster animals survive, especially the very young. While this is one of the hardest things about fostering, it is something you need to be emotionally prepared for.
- Do I accept that GCAC is an open-door shelter and cannot guarantee the adoption of all foster animals? While we will do our absolute best to place all animals into loving homes, this is not always possible. In some cases, your foster animals may have to be euthanized for health or behavior if issues are not able to be resolved.