Foster FAQs | PAWS Chicago

Foster FAQs

Answers to your questions about fostering.

General Questions

Almost every dog or cat who leaves our Medical Center will be taking medication. We will teach you how to correctly administer these medications. If you are uncomfortable giving an animal medications, we recommend that you host a healthy animal, like an Adoption Center Foster.

Depending on the type of foster you have, the time will vary. For example, puppies and kittens typically require two weeks in foster care. Sick animals need one to two weeks. Special animals, like neonatal orphaned kittens or puppies and pregnant moms, may need up to eight weeks. Animals in need of socialization or behavior modification will benefit from the consistency of at least one month in the same home. Healthy animals preparing for a special event can range from one night to several weeks. 

We ask that you spend at least two hours a day with your pet(s). But of course, the more positive exposure he has with people and experiences, the happier and better-adjusted he’ll be when he becomes available for adoption.

We will let you know in advance where you can expect to pick up your foster. We will try to work with you to find an animal that can be picked up at a location convenient for you. Our fosters are typically picked up from:

The PAWS Chicago Medical Center

(3516 W. 26th St.)

or

The PAWS Chicago Training & Foster Care Center

(1933 N. Marcey St.)

Occasionally, fosters will be picked up from:

Lincoln Park Adoption Center

(1997 N. Clybourn Ave.)

North Shore Adoption Center

(1616 Deerfield Road, Highland Park).

No, you are not expected to find an adopter for your foster animal. However, we always encourage you to discuss your foster pet with friends and family. Feedback and connections play a large role in finding them homes.

Any friends or family interested in adopting will need to visit the appropriate Adoption Center (Lincoln Park or North Shore) or adoption event the day the animal is available for adoption. We will coordinate with you on timing to be sure you know exactly when the animal is going arrive. Everyone in the household must be there at the time of the adoption and our standard adoption fees and instructions will apply. Find out more

Possibly, depending on the type of foster you are interested in. You will have an opportunity to meet and choose your foster if they originate from our Lincoln Park Adoption Center. This is not always an option for animals originating from our Medical Center, due to risk of spreading disease. We do our best to match you with an animal who fits your home environment and lifestyle needs and try our best to accommodate specific requests.

Yes! In most circumstances, you are able to adopt your foster animal(s). If this isn’t the case, you will be notified in advance. Find out more about Adopting a Foster Pet.

Yes. However, in many cases, especially with sick or injured animals, the foster animal must be isolated in a separate room or section of your home to avoid exposure of an illness to your pet or disrupt the healing time. A bathroom can be perfect for a cat or kitten. A spare room is perfect for a dog or puppy.

We cannot permit our fosters to also foster for other rescue groups or shelters as there is greater risk to exposing pets to illness and other risks.

Cat-Related Questions

It’s best for kittens to learn manners from their siblings. When fostering kittens, we prefer to send them out in groups of two or more. 

We strongly advise against integrating your pets with fosters. Kittens and cats in shelters have stressed or weakened immune systems. They could be carrying diseases you would not want to expose your pet to. PAWS Chicago cannot be responsible for the health of your resident pets. We strongly recommend that your foster kittens and cats remain isolated from household pets.

We will provide you with a carrier, food, a scale to weigh kitten fosters and any medications needed. We will also provide instructions on how to administer medications. We ask that you provide food bowls, a litter box, litter and lots of time and attention!

Dog-Related Questions

It’s best for puppies to learn pup manners from their siblings, so when fostering puppies, we prefer to send them out in groups of two or more. It also helps to have multiple puppies to keep each other busy.  

We strongly advise against integrating your pets with fosters. Puppies and dogs in shelters have stressed and/or weakened immune systems. PAWS Chicago cannot be responsible for the health of your resident pets. We strongly recommend that your foster puppies remain isolated from household pets, unless we advise you otherwise.

 

If you are fostering a puppy, please keep your puppy confined to your home and a small area outside to go potty. Dog parks and longer walks may inadvertently expose your foster puppy to deadly illnesses. 

We will provide you with a crate, leash, collar, food and any medications needed. We will also provide instructions on how to administer medications. We ask that you provide food bowls, toys and lots of time and attention!