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Foster Care Program FAQs

What is foster care?
Some animals that come into our care are not able to be adopted into their new ‘forever’ homes straight away. They may be too young, unwell, recovering from surgery, or they may need training to improve their behaviour.

While our shelter staff and volunteers work very hard to provide a comfortable and enriching environment, many of our more vulnerable animals are stressed by the experience of being in a shelter. These animals recover and develop much more successfully when they are fostered in a home  environment until they are ready to enter adoption.

Which animals are fostered?
Animals entering foster care include cats, kittens, dogs, puppies, rabbits and guinea pigs. Some are too young to enter adoption, other animals enter foster care because they are recovering from health problems which need treatment before they can enter adoption.

Who can be a foster carer?
Fostering is a volunteer role suited to lots of different people including singles, couples and families. Some foster carers work part-time, others full-time and some work from home. To be an RSPCA Foster Carer, you will be aged over 18 years and are able to meet the needs of an animal, including daily cleaning, feeding, socialisation and lots of love!

You also need to:
  • Complete a registration form to help us match a foster animal to your circumstances.
  • Attend a two hour training session, including an assessment.
  • Be able to collect animals from the RSPCA and return the animals for regular health and behaviour progress checks. 
Can I choose which animals I foster?
On your registration form, we will ask you a number of questions that will help describe such things as your home environment, time available to foster and
which animals you would like to help. Our Foster Care Officer will then use this information to match you with foster animals needing care.

How long is the foster commitment?
The length of foster care varies depending on the reason why the animal needs fostering. A young kitten may need two weeks of care in a foster home; an animal recovering from surgery may need more than three months. There are different fostering opportunities to suit the different time commitments each carer has available.

Can I foster if I have pets already?
Yes you can – you may need to keep your foster animals separate at times however. If you wish to foster cats or kittens, you will need to dedicate a room of your house away from any pets.

How will the RSPCA help me?
You will be provided with food, equipment and anything related to the veterinary care of your foster animal. You will simply need to cover the cost of transporting your foster animal back to the RSPCA for its progress checks.

We understand that some carers will bring more animal care experience than others so we are here to support you in any way needed. We will provide you with training, reference material and our Foster Care Officer will be here to support you.

As an RSPCA Foster Carer – you will be part of the RSPCA family and we will be here to support your foster journey every step of the way!

How can I become a foster carer?
Contact our Foster Care Officer via email fostercare@rspcavic.org.au or phone
03 9224 2565. We will take you through the registration process and will work to match you to animals needing foster care.
Foster care information
Short-term foster care
Download our information sheet
P  03 9224 2565
E  Email Foster Care Officer

Permanent foster care
Rehoming Team
03 9224 2565
E  Email Foster Care Officer

Apply to be a foster carer
Volunteer foster carer registration 

Other ways to assist
Help us continue our foster care program by becoming a volunteer or donate below.