Foster FAQFoster FAQ

Considering Fostering?

Here are answers to some of
the most frequently asked questions

1) How long will the foster animal stay with me?

It's difficult to predict how long an animal will stay with a foster. Sometimes it may be just an overnight visit, but it can also mean a commitment of several weeks or months. As a foster, you are keeping an animal safe and cared for until a rescue or adoption solution can be arranged.  CAAR has many short-term fostering opportunities and if you are worried about getting too attached and failing as a foster, request a transport animal. These are animals who are already committed to a partner rescue in the northeast, so keeping them is not an option.

2) What costs am I responsible for?

The most important thing CAAR needs from you is a safe, loving place where the animal can stay until CAAR has arranged transport to rescue or to their next home. CAAR always pays all vet costs associated with animals in foster care, including immunizations, medications, and any needed vet visits.  CAAR also provides for spay and neutering for all animals that are old enough prior to transport to rescue.

If you do not have a crate for the animal, CAAR is happy to loan you one.  If you are able to provide dog/cat food, a collar and a leash, that’s great, but we can also provide food if requested.

3) May I use my own vet?

We appreciate that you may have a vet who has cared for your personal pets, however, CAAR has formed an alliance and agreement with numerious veterinary hospitals to care for CAAR rescues greatly reduced costs. .

4) What about transportation?

If you are willing and able to take your animal to its vet appointments, that’s great.  Appointments can be arranged to meet your schedule, and you’ll be able to interact directly with the veterinarian and receive any instructions first hand.

If your work or family schedules do not allow for you to transport your foster animal yourself, then CAAR also has a list of volunteers who provide transportation for CAAR’s foster animals to approved spay/neuter clinics and to our veterinarians.

It is a policy of CAAR that all animals must be transported in a carrier. If you don't have a carrier, we are happy to loan one to you while you are fostering.

5) What else do you need from me as a foster?

Much of the “behind the scenes” work that CAAR does is arranging for rescue and the next home for the foster animal.  We need you to give us information on your foster’s temperament, personality, special needs, etc.  Is she/he extremely fearful?  Very active?  Needing lots of stimulation?  Preferring quiet surrounds?  Information like this helps the other rescue groups, transport teams, and potential adoptive families.

6) When will my foster be adopted?

In addition to local adoptions, many of CAAR’s animals are adopted through approved rescue groups in the northeastern portion of the United States.  This is due to spay/neuter laws being well enforced in those locations, which means there is actually a shortage of adoptable animals.  CAAR has an extensive network of reputable animal rescue groups in these northern states, and these rescue groups are the ones who receive many of the animals you foster.

The most common process is that the animals are transported to their destination, and go to a foster home there.  From there, they are then adopted into a forever family.  At times, adoptive homes are already secured before transport arrives and the animal goes directly there.

7) How do the animals get to these locations?

Most CAAR rescues are transported by professional transport services. Occasionally, through the efforts of certified transport coordinators, volunteers are organized to drive different “legs” of a transport.  Each of these volunteers is someone who love animals and play an important role in connecting the rescue animals with their forever homes.

At other times, CAAR volunteers drive the animals themselves in rented vans or personal vehicles to locations as far away as Syracuse, NY and Philadelphia, PA.

Pilots and Paws Air Transport and private planes are also used for transport.

8) What if I fall in love and want to adopt my foster?

We sincerely hope that all fosters love their foster animals, however, CAAR's primary mission is one of animal RESCUE, with ADOPTION being a secondary aspect of our work. A tremendous amount of work goes into arranging transport by CAAR and by the receiving rescue group, and that work begins as soon as the animal becomes part of CAAR.

CAAR’s policy is that a foster animal may not be adopted once it has been accepted by a receiving rescue organization.  There are times when the animal already has rescue arranged before arriving at your home.  If you agree to foster, CAAR will provide you with an agreement to sign that explains how “late adoptions” have numerous negative impacts on our work.  So, if you think you might be interested in adopting your foster animal, you need to tell your CAAR contact right away!

It is also not the foster's responsibility to actively seek adoptive homes for the animals they are fostering.

9) Will I know the "rest of the story"?

Many, if not most, foster and forever families who receive our foster animals, write updates to the CAAR volunteer who fostered the animal initially. It is not unusual to have them send pictures, stories, Facebook updates, etc. to help you keep up with “your” animal! It is a wonderful way to get the “rest of the story” – the final happy chapter in the life of the animal you helped save.

To assist in this, we encourage you to write a note to accompany your foster animal to its next destination. Include information that will be helpful for the next foster or adopting family, things you’ve learned about your animal, tips, techniques, etc. Include a contact method for yourself (phone, email, Facebook, etc.) and the receiving rescue groups are usually happy to continue to include you in “your” animal’s life!