Become a Foster Parent

Thank you for your interest in becoming a foster family with the HSWC. Our foster volunteers helped us to save over 900 animals in 2015 by opening their homes up to unwanted animals.
Foster parents provide temporary care for cats, kittens, dogs and puppies in their own homes. Some of the animals need as little as two weeks of care while others may need up to three months. Fostering a homeless animal is an extremely rewarding experience.  By opening up your home to a dog, cat, puppy or kitten you are allowing us to save more and more animals in our county.  Fostering is fun and easy.  If you think you are not set up to become a foster home for an orphaned or abandoned animal in need, think again!  Do you have a spare bedroom or bathroom?  You can provide a safe haven to an animal in need at no expense to your family.  You simply open your home and shower an animal with love and affection.
Our greatest foster needs are:
  • Adult dogs
  • Adult cats
  • Mother dogs with litters of puppies
  • Mother cats with litters of kittens
  • Orphaned kittens and puppies
Fostering is very flexible for most lifestyles and the HS will custom-match the animal with each foster home. By offering your home, time and energy to an animal in need, you prepare the animal for adoption into a permanent home as well as prevent over crowding in our local shelter. The HSWC is always looking for more foster homes, especially throughout the busy spring and summer seasons.



Most Common Reasons an Animal Needs Foster Care

  • Kittens and puppies who are too young to be spayed or neutered and adopted out into permanent homes.  When the animals are eight weeks old and weigh at least two pounds, they can be spayed or neutered and made available for adoption.
  • Cats or dogs who are nursing a litter of kittens or puppies
  • Cats or dogs who are being treated for injuries or illnesses
  • Full Shelter

The Humane Society of Washington County provides:

  • All medical treatments
  • Food as needed
  • Supplies as needed, including crates, bedding, collars, potty pads

A Foster Home provides:

  • A safe environment for a dog or cat that is too stressed at a shelter
  • A safe environment for a dog or cat that is recovering from a medical procedure
  • A loving home for a dog or cat that has been placed in a kill shelter
  • A link for a pet going from fear and uncertainty to love and trust

How Foster Care Works

  • When HSWC receives animals we contact foster parent volunteers.  If a foster volunteer is not available to foster at that time, we try another person.  There will be plenty of other opportunities to foster, soother is no pressure to take an animal.
  • Foster parents pick up their foster animal at our offices located at 2101 W. Walnut street at a scheduled time.  At that time, volunteers receive information about the animal's condition, needs and supplies.
  • Foster parents may need to transport the animal to veterinarian or HS offices for medical treatment as needed.
  • The foster parent will need to bring the animal to the HS offices for meet and greets with potential adopters.  
If you want to learn more about fostering, please click here to review frequently asked questions.

Ready to Foster?

If you are interested in volunteering with HSWC, please follow these steps:
  1. Be of age.  The primary caregiver of the foster animal must be at least 18 years old.  However, young people can help at home and potentially receive school credit.  Inquire more about school credit by calling our office at 423-926-8533.
  2. Be in the area.  Foster volunteers must be able to get to our HSWC offices in Johnson City, TN on a regular basis.  Please consider the potential commute before applying to volunteer.
  3. Complete a Foster Home Application.  Choose whether to foster dogs, cats or both and submit.  Your application will be reviewed and your references checked.  You will be notified if your application has been approved or denied.  If you application is denied a reason will be provided.
  4. Start Saving Lives.  After your application has been approved, the HSWC will begin contacting you as animals arrive into our system.