Foster Care Program

Together We Can Save More Lives!


Foster homes are a vital part of our adoption program.  We want every animal brought to us to have a chance for a long and happy life.  Because of our limited space and resources we are not always able to care for all those homeless animals that need us.  That’s where you come in!  By fostering you help us expand our capacity to care for homeless animals beyond the walls of our facility.  As a Foster Care Volunteer, you offer your time, energy and home to animals in need and JCHS provides the training, supplies and veterinary care you need to successfully care for foster pets.  Fostering truly does save lives!


the benefits of fostering

There are so many benefits to opening your home to foster a dog or cat!  Here are just a few: 

Enjoy animal companionship without a lifetime commitment 

Help an animal recover from an illness or injury

Give extra TLC to puppies or kittens too young to be adopted

Help reduce an animal’s stress from living in the shelter environment

Animals in Need of Foster Homes

We have many different types of animals in need of foster homes!  Here are some examples:

Orphan Kittens

Sadly every year we take in a number of kittens who have lost their mom. These babies need round the clock care. They will need to be bottle fed until they are old enough to eat on their own.

Nursing Moms With Babies

We often get moms with their litter of puppies or kittens. Sit back and let mom do all the work for you while you enjoy all the snuggles!

Animals Recovering From Illness/Injury

We sometimes have animals that have undergone a medical procedure or are receiving ongoing veterinary care and aren't yet available for adoption. The shelter isn't the best environment for healing so we often send these animals to foster homes while they recover.


Some animals come to us having had very little interaction with humans. The shelter can be a scary place to try to learn to trust humans. Our Foster Care Volunteers give these animals the boost they need to become family pets.

Cage Break

Shelter life can be stressful. Sometimes a short break can help. Cage breaks allow us to learn more about who the animal is, increases their chances of adoption and gives them the opportunity to relax and have fun!

OUR Foster program is growing

We believe foster is the future of animal rescue and we’ve been working hard and making great strides to improve and grow our Foster Care Program. We’re steadily building our network of Foster Care Volunteers which has resulted in increased numbers of animals being placed in foster care each year! 



Are you curious about fostering?  Here are some of the questions we’re frequently asked about becoming a Foster Care Volunteer:

A foster home is an extension of an animal shelter’s lifesaving capacity made possible through partnerships with the public. Through fostering, members of the public provide temporary shelter, food, care, and love for animals in need.

  Foster homes increase a shelter’s ability to save lives by preserving kennel space for other animals in need. But a foster home doesn’t just improve a shelter’s lifesaving statistics, it improves the quality of life for each individual animal it saves. Time and time again, foster homes have proven to transform animals for the better, significantly improving their mental and physical well being. Put simply, foster homes save lives AND make those lives better.

A lot of our Foster Care A lot of our Foster Care Volunteers are also parents.  Children in the home will be a factor in determining which animals are placed into your home but will not prevent you from fostering.  Providing foster care to an animal in need is a wonderful activity for the entire family!

Absolutely! When we have animals in need of foster we post a plea to our private Facebook Group. If you’re interested in fostering that animal simply reach out to the Foster Coordinator. We will never send an animal home with you that you are uncomfortable caring for.
  • Provide a safe, clean and caring environment.
  • Provide food, water, toys/enrichment and shelter.
  • Provide exercise and socialization as appropriate.
  • Monitor any medical and/or behavioral problems.
  • Transport to/from any necessary medial appointments.
  • Actively participate in marketing your foster animal.
Commitment and responsibilities depend on the individual animal and situation.  Young animals oftentimes need only a few weeks to reach the age/weight required to be adopted.  Other animals who are recovering from an injury may require a longer foster period. Expectations of time and care will be discussed prior to placement of a foster pet in your home, and you will not be expected to foster any animal whom you are not fully comfortable fostering.
Please contact us right away.  Medical care for all JCHS foster animals is provided through the Jefferson County Humane Society Clinic located at 81 Talbott Drive Wintersville, OH.  Medical expenses will not be reimbursed if you take your foster animal to another clinic for treatment.

The first step in becoming a Foster Care Volunteer is to fill out our online Foster Application and complete the online orientation and questionnaire that follows.  Our Foster Coordinator will review your application and orientation questionnaire results and will contact you within 72 hours.

We’re always on the lookout for Foster Care Volunteers who don’t have pets of their own for our harder to place animals but most of our Foster Care Volunteers have pets of their own.  This will be a factor in determining which animals are placed into your home but it will not prevent you from becoming a Foster Care Volunteer.  Please note that foster pets must be kept separate from owned animals for a minimum of 14 days after entering your home.  If you’re interested in fostering a dog and already have a dog(s) in your home we will require a meet and greet to make sure everyone gets along.  However, no unsupervised time is permitted between your foster pets and owned pets for the safety of all animals.  All resident pets are required to be spayed/neutered and UTD on their vaccines.  
While the goal of fostering is goodbye (getting the animal ready for their forever home) we realize that there is a chance you might not want to say goodbye to a foster pet who has found a special place in your heart.  If you (or a family member or friend) would like to adopt your foster pet you will need to go through the shelter’s normal adoption process.
All medications, supplements, and vaccinations will be provided by, and must be administered by JCHS. JCHS can provide all supplies needed (food, crate, toys, bedding). However, if a foster parent wants to provide these items, that support is greatly appreciated!
If you find that your foster just isn’t working out please contact the Foster Coordinator to schedule a time to bring the animal back to the shelter.  We want your foster care experience to be a positive one and we are here to support you through your journey.  If your foster pet becomes sick or displays behavior in your home that you are having difficulty managing, please let us know right away.
While goodbyes are always sad it’s rewarding to know that you’ve made a difference in an animal’s life by giving them the care they needed to get them ready for their forever home.  Remember that while each adoption saves one life a Foster Care Volunteer has the ability to save many lives simply by providing love and care until the foster animal is ready for adoption!  

Do you own a farm? We need you!

From time to time our Humane Agents encounter farm animals who have been abused and neglected and need temporary foster homes while their cases are pending.  We are unable to care for these types of animals at the shelter and as such we rely on foster homes.  We’re looking to build a list of farm animal Foster Care Volunteers.  If you’re able to provide a foster home for farm animals we’d love to hear from you!  Email us at or give us a call at  (740) 314-5583.

Contact us

Questions about foster care?  We’re here to help!




Join our Facebook Group for approved Foster Care Volunteers!