Types of Foster Care
This is when someone has to leave home suddenly for a short time. It can be due to illness/hospitalization, an injury requiring a stay in a care center or preventing the person from actions required for pet care, a family crisis such as a trip for funeral or other serious situation, or a required trip for work/business. If the pet owner has no one to step in and cannot afford to board the pets at a local veterinarian’s facility, LAWS’ Compassionate Care Program will work to provide a volunteer who will either take the pets into his/her own home (generally this is for dogs, rabbits, hamsters, birds, etc.), or care for them in their own home (usually the best idea for cats, who hate changes in their environment). The duration is usually a month or less. The owner provides money for food and agrees to pay for any vet care. If you or someone you know is in need of crisis foster care, please fill out the care request form on our Compassionate Care Program page.
Someone finds a dog or cat (or other house pet) abandoned or stray and takes it to a veterinarian’s office, or calls LAWS or calls a friend who calls LAWS–the finder can’t keep the animal. The Laramie Animal Shelter does a good job of caring for pets that people surrender, but sometimes they have too many and can’t take more; this is particularly true for cats any time and especially from late April through June, when cats are producing kittens on a round-the-clock basis. Sometimes they are strayed or abandoned cats, sometimes their owners “just didn’t get around to having her spayed” and don’t want all the kittens. These animals need special, patient, loving attention. They are confused and frightened and need to learn to trust people again. They may end up staying with the foster family for two or three months while they adjust, and a few stay even longer, until the right forever family comes along. LAWS pays for any medical care or supplies, and will help with food.
This may be for an animal who was sick or injured and needs special care and feeding, with lots of patient care in a quiet place. It may also be for very small kittens or puppies brought in without their mother. They may need feeding every few hours, house-training, and other work to turn them into good companions. LAWS pays for medical care, spay/neuter, special food, and can help with regular food.
This is primarily for small, feral kittens. They are young enough to be socialized and can become excellent pets, but they need a lot of time with the foster to learn to trust people, how to play gently, to tolerate handling and house-training. This may also involve feeding special food and feeding several times a day. LAWS will pay all veterinary and special food expenses, special supplies etc., and may help with regular food when the kittens can eat it safely.
Generally for pets of people who must be away for several months. The owner provides money for food and veterinary care, and the foster generally takes the pet into his/her home for the whole time. This can be for six months, sometimes longer, though we try not to get involved in really long-term care. If the owner cannot reclaim the pet, LAWS will find a permanent home for it.