Foster Program Overview
Foster parents are an integral part of BAM's day-to-day operations. BAM was not started, like most rescues, with its mission centralized on lowering the number of animals euthanized in shelters around the country, but it has become a passion we must follow. Our success as a pet rescue organization is due in huge part to our ever-expanding network of foster homes. Our Foster Care Program evolved into BAM's Homeless Animal Rescue Team (BAM's H.A.R.T.) when we absorbed St. George-based H.A.R.T. in late 2016.
Fostering is a very rewarding opportunity because you get to prepare an animal for adoption into their permanent home. Many foster parents choose to assist a "type" of animal, dependent on their home, experience level, exercise routine, and especially due to their own families (2- or 4-legged). These "types" may be details like small, medium, large; young, adult, senior; non-shedding; lazy or active. The reality is that all types of companion animals need homes and if you open your home and heart to them, you and those animals will be rewarded.
Can I be a foster parent?
Any adult with spare time and space is a potential foster. Many of our foster parents are:
Retired senior citizens
Families learning about what dog personality they would like to adopt
People who travel and cannot provide year-round care to their own full-time pet
Animal lovers with extra love to give!
As with all BAM volunteer opportunities, potential foster parents need to complete Volunteer Orientation, as well as submit a completed foster application. This application offers BAM the best way to determine what animal(s) is the best fit for each foster household.
What pet care supplies will I need?
BAM provides items needed to care for your foster pet as requested. Most of our foster parents choose to supply their foster pet(s) with necessities like bedding, litter, bowls and food. These expenses can be claimed on taxes as a donation to BAM as a non-profit organization, or be reimbursed. Collars and leashes, and any required medications and follow-up care are always provided.
What is my responsibility?
We request that you follow all guidelines on feeding and medicating (if applicable) your foster pet as given to you by BAM's Foster Coordinator(s). Notify your Coordinator about any medical or behavioral changes in your foster pet, and keep all scheduled appointments. Foster parents are required to attend all adoption events when a BAM animal is in their care, unless an Adoption Counselor familiar with your animal(s) can attend the event in your absence.
How long will I foster an animal?
The length of foster care varies with each animal. Some animals we have had in care for one day, while others may not be adopted out for months. BAM brings many animals into foster care that have not been spayed or neutered, but we will not finalize adoptions until such surgery is completed. As such, some animals remain in foster care until their scheduled surgery date.
What if I fall in love with my foster pet?
This is a wonderful dilemma and does happen. Please keep in mind that the intention of being a foster parent is to assist an animal temporarily, but if your foster pet does not already have their forever home waiting for them we would love for your home to become their forever home!
I already have dogs. Can I foster without getting a special license from my city?
When opening your home to foster animals, Animal Control in most cities will allow for more dogs than typically permitted without acquiring a kennel license if:
the dog is currently listed for adoption with a rescue group
a permanent home is being actively sought out
the dog is kept under control, i.e., no barking or complaints from neighbors, and current on vaccinations required by law
Not all foster pets are dogs!
While the majority of the pets that enter BAM's care are dogs, we get requests to help all sorts of animals. If you would be interested in helping with another species, from guinea pigs to horses and about everything in between, please let us know about your interest and experience. Some such animals will have very specific needs (like property for livestock, and appropriate fencing to keep them safe) and may not be available to everyone who would like to help.