Foster FAQ –

Are you considering becoming an animal foster parent but the what if’s are holding you back?  We get it! Some of our very best animal foster parents were once people who said “I could never do that!”. Let’s clear up some of those questions for you.  We welcome foster failures too!  Meaning if our foster families fall in love with their foster and want to adopt the dog or cat in their care, that’s ok with us!

How long will a foster stay with me?

This really depends on several variables and what you decide you can accommodate. There are basically 4 classifications of fostering within our rescue.

* Temp Care – You provide a safe, loving environment for one of our rescue animals to cover for the foster family on vacation or work travel. This is typically a defined amount of time ranging from one day to 2 weeks.

* Short-Term Fosters – The length of time an adoptable or short-term rescue animal is in foster care can range anywhere from 1 week to several months. This is unpredictable but typically, the younger and more social dogs are adopted quickly while older dogs or shy, fearful dogs may be in care longer. Average stay is two months.

* Long-Term Fosters – We also have dogs and cats who come to our rescue with issues, such fearful, timid and need a longer term to learn, trust and be comfortable in new situations as well as new people .  Dogs or cats who are in long term care MAY be deemed adoptable over time for their forever homes.

* Permanent Fosters – We often take in dogs or cats classified as unadoptable due to age or certain medical conditions. We believe that these innocent souls are just as deserving of a stable home, happiness and the best quality of life for whatever time they have left. These dogs and cats will live in foster homes as the family’s companion  while the rescue maintains the responsibility and expense of their vet care, food and supplies.

* Purple Leash – CK Animal Rescue created a program called Purple Leash, providing short term care for the pets of those escaping domestic abuse or entering the hospital for medical treatment. This is typically a defined term of up to 4 weeks.

Can I choose which dogs I am able to foster?

Of course! When we are taking in new dogs or an existing foster needs a new placement a post is placed on our Facebook group as well as email sent out to our entire foster list. We will provide as much information as we have available. If there is a dog in need who you feel will fit well in your home for the length of their stay before adoption, simply reply/comment that you are available. We would never force anyone to take a dog that they would not be comfortable with helping for any reason.

Can I foster a cat or kitten?

Of course!  We also take in cats and kittens into our foster program.  The number of intakes depends on how many available foster homes we have in order to help.  Sadly we are always short on available foster homes and have have to turn away so many.  Because we are not a shelter, we do not have kennel areas to keep cats or kittens, we depend on having foster families willing to give cats and kittens a safe, loving home also.

Will it cost me a lot of money?

Absolutely not! While you are the primary caregiver to your foster animal, they belong to CK Animal Rescue. All veterinary care and medical expenses are the responsibility of the rescue. We have accounts at several Veterinary clinics covering the areas we operate in. All approved vetting will be charged to our accounts. We are fortunate to have many great supporters and a generous supply of food, collars, leashes, toys etc. and this is available during our office hours for any foster home to pick up.

Having transportation is a MUST. You will be asked to drive to pick up your foster when they enter our foster program. Usually the dogs/cats come to our office in Chatham where we can put our ID tags on them with a special number for that animal. We also depend on our fosters to help us by transporting your foster to awareness or adoption events (local to you) or to a meet & greet with a potential adopter at the Chatham office or in their home in your area.

I work full-time/have children/have a busy life. How will I have the time for a foster animal?

Our foster families are varied. Many work full time, part time, some have children or grandchildren, some have a house full of people, others are flying solo. Rescue animals are also varied and a wide variety of foster homes ensures that we have a suitable fit for each dog or cat or other small animal. We ask a lot of questions to get a clear picture of what size/type/temperament/energy level would best fit your abilities and situation. We do however, request that dogs are NOT left for more than 4-5 hours without access to relieve themselves. Whether this can be managed by your ability to run home on a lunch break, have a reliable family member or friend cover potty breaks or if you can coordinate with another rescue team member to help out.

Are rescue animals contagious/will my pet’s health be jeopardized?

All of our rescue animals receive a veterinary exam, vaccinations are updated if necessary, they are screened for parasites and given flea/tick preventative. However, there is always a risk, even if you do not foster. Simply walking in your own neighborhood, visiting off leash parks, vet waiting rooms etc. can expose your pet to various things. Keeping your personal pet(s) up to date on vaccinations, maintaining regular wellness checks, providing a good quality food are ways that you can best defend your pet(s) health under any circumstances.

Will my foster dog be housetrained?

Fostering 101: Pee happens! Sometimes you will get lucky however, even with a dog that may have been housetrained previously, there have been major changes in these animals lives and this can cause confusion, anxiety and stress. Every new animal that is introduced to your home should be treated as not housetrained, monitored and provided an abundance of opportunities to perform their ‘duties’ outside. Patience, cleaning supplies, belly bands and leaning on your fellow foster homes for tips and support will get you through the bumps while saving a life!

Can I adopt my foster dog or cat?

If the foster family would like to adopt their foster dog or cat, an application, adoption fee, and contract are required just as they are for everyone. Please understand that we have a process to keep the playing field fair for all while ensuring that each rescue animal is placed in a great home. As such, your application will be treated as all others with no favouritism. Also note, that being approved as a foster home does not guarantee that you will be approved to adopt, even in the case of a dog you are fostering. If you do decide to adopt one of our dogs or cats, we ask that you continue to help foster another dog or cat in need.

Won’t it be hard to give the animal up when they are adopted?

The simple answer…yes, of course. If it is easy, you are not doing it right. But as hard as it is, from the first to the twentieth, knowing that your foster animal is alive, loved and in a permanent home as a treasured family member makes it worth every tear. You can make it less difficult by maintaining the proper mindset. Imagine you were dog sitting. When the family returns from vacation, it would not occur to you to keep their dog, right? Fostering is the same concept. You are simply their caregiver, their advocate, their stepping stone on their journey to a forever family.  We invite one member of the foster family to join us when doing the meet ‘n greets with adopters to help our foster families see the love connections as they happen.  There are times when there is no love connection and that’s ok too, the dog or cat always ends up where they are happiest.

Can I contribute financially toward the care of my foster dog or cat?

Yes you can!  We have a few foster families who enjoy helping our rescue by paying for some medication or training and in return, they get a tax receipt to submit for tax time.  All we need are copies of the invoices where food, medication, toys, etc were purchased to attach to our copy of the receipt.  As a registered non profit and being 100% volunteer based, we very much appreciate the added assistance by our foster families.

Can I contact your rescue to speak to someone if I still have questions?

You sure can!  If you still have a few questions, we are more than happy to answer them for you.  Please call our office and leave a message 519-354-5000 or by email –   If there is a specific area of our rescue where you would like to contact someone, please visit our Team Page.