Be a Foster Hero

Be a Hero to the Homeless

Thank you for your stepping up to foster a cat or dog, and help our homeless, sick, recovering and/or abused animals! Our Foster volunteers are true Heroes: Fostering Saves Lives, and your help allows us to help others.

Fostering helps prepare homeless pets for adoption and sets them up for success in their new homes. The purpose of our Foster Program is to provide our animals in need with the care and attention they require, until they are ready to be adopted into loving forever homes. The goal is also to provide us with valuable information about them, to increase their adoption opportunities. Once this is achieved, the foster period is concluded, and the animal will be actively promoted for adoption while remaining in the foster home, or returning to the shelter.

Foster volunteers are matched with an appropriate in-need animal, by a foster program coordinator, or a member of the management team. This will be established during their home visit, or during conversations before they take an animal home.

There are many types of adoptable or soon-to-be-adoptable pets that need foster, here are some examples:

  • Pets in need of transitional housing whilst awaiting permanent adoptions.
  • Pets with medical conditions or concerns that can be better met in a foster home.
  • Those with behavioral concerns that can potentially be rehabilitated in a foster home.
  • Those that need socialization and extra time to adjust to home environments.
  • Pregnant mums that need a safe and calm environment to birth.
  • Feeding mothers and their young litters (until ready for adoption).
  • Bottle feeding kittens or puppies: under 5 weeks of age, feeding and stimulating needed every 3 hours (overnight included).
  • Puppies/Kittens that are younger than 10 weeks old.
  • Older cats or dogs that could use/need a break from the Shelter, or who would do better in a quiet home environment.
  • Hospice care pets needing a comfortable, loving place to spend their final days.
  • Any animal needing specialized care.

  1. Complete the CIHS Foster Application Form;
  2. Your application is reviewed and if successful, a home visiting volunteer will contact you and arrange a suitable time to meet and go over our foster program and expectations;
  3. During this visit the types of animals you are most suited to care for will be established;
  4. Once you’re approved to foster*, you will work with CIHS staff to confirm which animals you can foster;
  5. Collect your pet and begin fostering, keep us updated of their health and progress;
  6. Take pictures and videos and send them with a little bio to our social media or email

*Our Matching Criteria and assessment of a suitable foster home will include considerations such as; the extent and diversity of their foster experience with cats and/or dogs; length of commitment they can offer; ability to care for the animal, attend health checks, administer medications, meet expectations and all other needs of the animals.

  • You must be 18 years or older to foster. Please bring a valid form of I.D.;
  • Must have landlord/strata approval for fostering animals;
  • Foster cats are to be kept strictly indoors at all times;
  • If you have existing pets in the home, you must provide proof of the following veterinary care before fostering:
    • Spay or Neuter surgery (unless deemed unsafe to perform by your vet, due to existing health conditions),
    • Up to date with vaccinations and dewormed,
    • Proof of annual vet wellness visits,
    • Dogs – proof of monthly heartworm treatment.
  • If you are planning on fostering a dog and already have a dog at home, you must first schedule an appointment to bring him/her to the shelter to meet your new potential new pet.

Would you like to speed up your Foster Care application process?