Caring for Your Foster Animal

What does the rescue provide for foster parents?

Each foster parent will receive the following: food, bowls, leash, bedding, collar, crate, toys, treats and any needed medications. Cat fosters will also receive litter, litter box, scratching posts, etc. Before you pick up your foster, you will be asked what supplies you need to pick up when you pick up your foster. If you need other supplies, please email Our office is currently closed due to COVID-19 so supplies need to be arranged with Jenny directly.

How do I integrate the foster into my household?

A new foster animal should have slow introductions over the course of several days to all members of your household (human and animal). You can speak with your Foster Coordinator about how to best introduce your first foster into your home. Younger children should be introduced slowly to determine the compatibility with the new foster animal. It is recommended that an adult supervise all interactions between foster animals and young children. Children need to be taught the right way to treat an animal and what it means to respect an animal’s cues and need for space.

What if the foster animal does not work with my children/dogs/cats?

Please email your Foster Coordinator for tips on ways to make transitions more smooth. They are always available to help with questions! If your kids or pets are in immediate danger, we will get your foster animal out of your home as soon as possible, otherwise we ask that you give us one week’s notice for us to find a new foster.

What kinds of behavior challenges might I expect?

We do our best to eliminate the possibility of taking human or dog aggressive dogs. Still, some issues may arise. Possibilities include separation anxiety (i.e. crying or barking when left alone), marking (with urine), chewing, house training, barking and dog-aggression. We have many ways of managing these problems until they are resolved and our experienced Foster Coordinators are on hand to answer questions and provide advice.

How will I know when an application is submitted for my foster?

When a potential adopter contacts SHH, we will review the application to make sure it meets our standards. Approved applications will be emailed to you and we expect you to contact the applicants to arrange a meeting. These meetings can take place at your house, their house, or a neutral location (whatever you feel comfortable with). Sometimes, multiple families will apply to adopt your foster animal, in which case you will arrange multiple meetings, one for each potential adoptive family. We give our fosters the right to pick the best adopter, as long as they are being reasonable in their choices/denials.

How do you say goodbye to your foster animals?

The hardest one to let go is the first one, but we promise it does get easier. There are countless amounts of animals in need, and those animals all deserve a great foster homes like yours, too. Our foster volunteers have all been through “letting go,” and we can help prepare you before, during and after. We hope our foster and forever families will send us updates! Request to join this facebook group to keep up with some of the animals in our program!

What happens if I can no longer foster the animal I have?

Secondhand Hounds asks that you allow us at least one week to find a new foster. We will do our best to find a foster home for your animal in a timely manner.

Where can I take my foster dog? Friends houses, dog park, around town?

Please remember that you are responsible for the dogs in all these situations, and sometimes new situation/people stress the dog out. It is best to let the dog adapt to your home, and a few visitors at a time rather than bringing the dog in to a totally new situation right away. Also remember that if there is a fight or incident at the dog park, you are responsible. We can not control the public, and there have certainly been police calls and law suits over dog park incidents. If you would like to go to the dog park, please check with your Foster Coordinator. We want you and your foster dog to stay safe! Many cities require dog park permits/licenses, so please check your local ordinances. Secondhand Hounds is not able to cover these costs. If you are looking for other ways to socialize your foster, check out an adoption event!

What if I'm planning on travelling in a month? Can I still foster?

Of course! Just let your Foster Coordinator know your plans at least one week in advance (the more time the better!) and we will make arrangements for a temporary foster home for your foster animal.

If I spend money on my foster animal, will I be reimbursed?

Pre-approval from the foster coordinator is required for reimbursements. In most instances, we will have what you need at our office, or we can get it for you! If you choose to purchase your own supplies, you may deduct them on your taxes. For a tax receipt, please email For all medical needs/supplies/medications, you must contact the appropriate foster coordinator for approval. DO NOT take your foster animal to a vet without prior approval from your foster coordinator.