Welcome to the Inland Valley Humane Society & S.P.C.A. Foster Care Program!
Our Foster Care Program provides short-term care for kittens and puppies that are too young to be adopted or be kept here at the shelter, as well as animals of any age that are sick or injured and need the peace and care of a home environment.
The foster program also provides care for our adult animals (dogs, cats, rabbits, and other animals) to provide them with a break from the shelter and the opportunity to decompress and get the love and attention of foster families.
We could not do what we do without the help of caring and dedicated fosters. By fostering for IVHS, you will help us save lives!
foster care program overview
Please watch our PowerPoint presentation for an overview on our Foster Care Program.
Apply to become an IVHS & SPCA foster
- Please ensure that all members of the household are OK with fostered animals in the home. If you rent, check with your landlord to see if you are allowed to have pets.
- Fosters will need to be able to get to the shelter for picking up foster animals, returning for food and supply replenishments, vaccination boosters, any medical issues for which our vets need to examine a foster animal, and return for spay/neuter surgery.
- If you will be fostering bottle babies, they need to be picked up the same day you are contacted, before the shelter closes. Bottle babies must be fed every few hours, depending on age, until they are able to eat on their own.
- Our vets are only available Monday through Friday during business hours. All IVHS veterinary visits are by appointment only or by prior arrangement. Our Vet Services department is closed on weekends and holidays.
- At night or on weekends or holidays, fosters will need to use the “Petriage” app if there is a medical concern or emergency. Please do not take the foster animal directly to an emergency veterinary hospital, as IVHS will not be responsible for any costs incurred.
- Fosters who have general fostering questions or need food or supplies are to contact the foster coordinator Monday through Friday during shelter business hours only.
- We understand that things come up, and in the event of emergency we are here to resume care of the foster animal. However, once a foster is in your care, it must be cared for the entire agreed-upon duration. The goal in fostering is to help the young animals stay healthy, and returning a foster early may lead to it falling ill. Please be prepared to communicate any travel plans upon initial contact.
- You will be helping young, orphaned animals who may not be able to survive without assistance.
- You could be helping to nurse to health a sick or injured animal in our care.
- By fostering an adult shelter animal, you can help it become more adoptable by providing love and socialization and giving it a break from the stress of the shelter environment.
- You will help free up space at the shelter for other animals.
- If you are a veterinary student and/or pursuing a career in animal welfare, you can gain invaluable animal care experience.
- Fostering is a great way to see if adopting a pet is right for you and your family.
Before you agree to foster an animal, you will be told up front how long we anticipate the assignment will be. Foster assignments can vary in duration, from about 2-8 weeks for kittens and puppies, depending on age and health. If you foster an adult shelter animal, we ask that you keep it for at least a few weeks or until it gets adopted. If you have any upcoming travel plans, please inform the foster coordinator before you agree to foster an animal.
- Provide a safe, clean and caring environment for the animal
- Give the animal shelter, food and water, clean litter/potty time, toys/enrichment (IVHS provides all food and supplies)
- Provide regular exercise, play and socialization
- Monitor any medical and/or behavioral problems
- Transport to and from any necessary vet appointments
- Administer medications if the animal is sick (IVHS will provide all necessary medications and will explain how to administer meds)
- If the foster animal is sick, it must be quarantined from other pets in the home for a period of 7-14 days or until our veterinary staff determines the foster to be healthy.
- If you have any medical concerns or emergencies with your foster animal, contact our Veterinary Services department during business hours. After shelter business hours and on weekends, you will need to use the “Petriage” app for instructions. (IVHS is not responsible for any costs incurred if the foster takes the animal to an emergency veterinary hospital without prior authorization.)
- Provide the foster coordinator with updates (photos welcome!) on the foster animal’s progress
MEET THE FOSTER COORDINATOR
Hello, current and prospective fosters! My name is Natalie Avalos, and I am the foster coordinator at Inland Valley Humane Society. My lifelong love of animals eventually led me to a career at IVHS. I’ve studied animal behavior and care, management of shelter animals, and Karen Pryor Academy clicker training. I’ve completed the Fear Free Shelters certification course, and I maintain American Red Cross Cat & Dog First Aid certification. I was a Wag! dog walker for four years, gaining valuable dog walking and handling experience. I came to IVHS as a volunteer in 2017, spending my Saturdays for four years walking dogs, helping at adoption events and vaccination clinics, training new volunteers, and placing kittens into foster care. To date I have fostered 12 kittens for IVHS and have found forever homes for many of them among my family and friends. Helping the animals and people here at IVHS brings me such joy, fulfillment and pride, and I’m happy to be able to share that with our dedicated, caring and life-saving IVHS fosters. We could not do what we do without YOU!