Fostering saves lives! As an Open Door Shelter, welcoming every unwanted animal every day, we are constantly challenged with space issues, especially during the Spring and Summer months when our intake is highest. Foster homes give us the added space to preserve the lives of our most fragile and at-risk animals. Please read on and consider providing temporary warmth and love to a cat, dog, or bunny who has seen so little of it.
Beginning in the spring, we take in many nursing mom cats and kittens, nursing mom dogs and puppies, and orphaned litters. Your love and attention will allow these babies to reach the weight they need to be spayed/neutered and adopted. The foster time period for these youngsters can run from a couple of weeks to a couple of months. Raising and socializing our fuzzy babies is an experience like no other. It requires a commitment of time and patience, and it's not uncommon for kittens to get sick after arriving in your home.
Our clinic staff will provide all of the medical support, medications and supplies you need to see your foster animals through any illness. The hardest part of fostering is bringing your foster animals back to the shelter for adoption. But the best cure for that is to take home another bunch of babies!
The Western PA Humane Society has isolation and treatment rooms where we treat cats and kittens with upper respiratory infections and dogs and puppies with kennel cough. These diseases are common in the animals who come through our doors, as most have not had the benefit of protective vaccines.
Isolation space is often a challenge in our shelter when many animals get sick at the same time. Housing them with healthy animals would compromise the health of our entire shelter population. At these times foster homes are crucial to the lives of our beloved animals. If you don't currently share your home with a four-legged family member, or if you can provide an extra room for an animal of a different species than your pet, please consider this life-saving opportunity.
Our animals ALWAYS recover more quickly with the love and care a foster home provides. Our clinic provides all of the medications, support and supplies you will need to bring your foster animal back to health. The usual time period for fostering a sick animal is 10 - 14 days. In some cases it takes a little longer, depending upon the strength of the animal's immune system.
Become a Foster Home for our North Side or Elizabeth Shelter. Click here to take our foster survey.
Volunteer & Foster Services
W PA Humane Society
1101 Western Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15233
For more info call Jessica Dettling at 412-321-4625 ext. 221.
When kittens and puppies too young to eat on their own come into our shelter, their lives depend upon staff and volunteers who have the time, energy, expertise and emotional strength to bottle-feed these babies.
If you would like to learn how to care for neonatal kittens and puppies, we can provide individual or group instruction on the skills and supplies needed for this type of care.
Before you consider this type of foster opportunity, you need to know that, no matter how much time, effort and love you provide, some of these babies may not make it. Look inside yourself and make sure you have not only the time (some babies need bottle-fed every two hours, round the clock!), but the emotional fortitude to provide this level of care.
Although we do not usually foster out healthy, adoptable animals (our shelter buddies best chance for adoption is in the shelter, where potential adopters can see, touch, and fall in love), when kennel housing gets cramped and cage space is an issue, we welcome foster parents who can give a two-week cage break to one of our animals.
Animals fostered for space remain on our website as available for adoption, and foster parents may need to return their foster animal early to meet a potential adopter. If you fall madly in love with your foster animal, foster parents usually have "first dibs" on adopting their foster animal. This decision needs to be made immediately if we have another interested potential adopter.