January 15th
Foster Myths Busted

Have you ever wondered about fostering an animal? Maybe you'd like to have your own pet one day, but your current situation does not allow you to adopt one on a permanent basis.

Those who have experienced fostering an animal know that it's a highly rewarding experience for both the animal and the individual caring for them.

During the pandemic, we've made our best efforts to place as many animals as the number of available foster parents in our program, in order to give them the one-on-one love and care they deserve. Our existing foster parents regularly let us know that caring for an animal helps them relieve their own stress and anxiety. 

We want to take this opportunity to demystify some of the misconceptions about becoming a foster parent with our humane society that may be holding you back from taking the next step.

After you read this blog, please re-share it on your own social media to help us spread the word about this life changing program and help us recruit even more foster volunteers. 

Myth #1 – I can’t foster because I already have other pets. 


  • Having other animals does not prevent you from becoming a foster parent, but we do take precautions.
  • Before taking a foster dog home, we do what is called a meet and greet. We have to make sure that the dogs can get along before we send a foster dog home. 
  • We always recommend that kittens and puppies are kept separate from existing pets at home. They are babies with developing immune systems and even though your pets may be up to date on vaccines, there is always a risk that they can pass something onto this vulnerable population or vice versa.
  • For adult cats, again we recommend that they are kept separate from your pets. However, they can be introduced to other pets after a minimum of 14 days following their arrival in your home. A slow, supervised introduction is advised. Our Staff are happy to give you some tips and tricks on this process.

Myth #2 – Fostering a pet will cost me money. 


  • We supply everything – food, litter, toys, and vet care. All you supply is the home and the love. 

Myth #3 – Pets needing foster care are sick or have behaviour problems.  


  • Not all of the animals that go into foster care are sick or have behaviour issues.
  • Some may need some extra TLC as they recover from surgery.
  • Behaviour problems and young babies go to experienced foster parents while the healthy animals go out into foster to get away from the hustle and bustle of the shelter. 

Myth #4 – My home is too small. 


  • It really depends on the pet you are fostering.
  • We will match you with a pet that fits your living situation.
  • Cats, kittens, small animals and some small dogs do very well in smaller homes – like apartments.  

Myth #5 – I am not qualified to foster. 


  • You don't have to be an experienced animal caregiver to become a foster volunteer.
  • In fact, not all of our foster parents have previously cared for an animal. They are “regular” people who might work full time and love animals.
  • We have a full team that can offer help with a foster if any issues arise and provide training. 

Myth #6 – I have a 9 – 5 job and just don’t have the time to foster.


  • Fostering kittens aged 5-8 weeks of age require surprisingly little time out of a busy full-time schedule. If they are healthy and eating on their own, you can do a health check, have snuggle or socialization time before you leave for the day and then when you get home.
  • An adult cat will most likely sleep all day while you are at work and interact with you once you get home. More often than not it will be to tell you that you are late with their dinner! 

Myth #7 – I have children, so I can’t foster. 


  • You most certainly can foster if you have children.
  • With supervision, children have the opportunity to learn how to care for, play with and socialize kittens/puppies.
  • Just be sure that your children wash their hands before and after they play with the animals.   

Myth #8 – I don’t have the contacts to get pets adopted. 


  • While contacts through your friends and family are welcome, we take care of getting the foster animals adopted once they are ready to find their forever home.
  • Our marketing/social media team will ensure these animals are promoted on our website, social media, local newpapres, online, etc. to help them find a home quickly.

Myth #9 – I won’t be able to say good bye when it comes time for adoption. 


  • We know that it’s hard to say good bye to any adorable ball of fluffy fur, but it will be easier to send them off knowing that you have made a difference in their lives. If you had a litter of kittens, you’ve set them on the road to becoming fantastic house cats, puppies on the road to being someone’s BFF (bestest furry friend) or even just given a pet a place to relax and unwind from the stresses of shelter life.
  • When you say good bye, this can also mean that you are preparing to help make a difference in another pet’s life.   
  • Fostering is also ideal for individuals transitioning to a different stage in their lives - post secondary students who may have to relocate during the summer months; individuals temporarily working from home or laid off, but will be returning to a job that will require them to be away from home multiple days at a time. 

Remember - Fostering isn't a lifetime commitment. It's a commitment to saving a life. 

By: Amanda Hawkins, Senior Animal Care Manager

Interested in becoming a foster volunteer? Fill out an application today by visiting kwsphumane.ca/how-to-help/foster

Have more questions? Reach out to our foster volunteer coordinator at  stacy.mclellan@kwsphumane.ca