Emergency Foster Care

Thank you so much for your interest in helping animals in crisis!

The Kentucky Humane Society is working tirelessly to move animals out of shelters that were affected by the flooding so they have room for animals continuing to be displaced by this disaster.

We have very limited cage space at the shelter and need to keep animals in foster homes to ensure we can help as many animals as possible. If you are interested in becoming a temporary foster for the Kentucky Humane Society, please read through the information below first and then submit the Emergency Foster Care Form.

Most of the animals we currently need fosters for are:

  • Medium and large adult dogs (30 pounds and up)

  • Animals (especially cats!!) on medication for minor illnesses such as colds or loose stool

Is Emergency Fostering For You?

There are several things to consider when thinking about fostering. While it can be very fun and rewarding (just read some of the testimonials from a few of our foster families!), it is not for everybody. Answering the questions below will help you determine if emergency fostering is right for you.

Time

Are you able to devote at least 1-2 hours per day to your foster animal?

Are you able to keep a foster animals for 1-3 weeks?

We believe most animals will need foster for 2-3 weeks, but we ask that fosters be flexible with us since things are changing daily. If you take a foster and are unable to keep it, we will do our best to have you return it ASAP, but may need a day or 2 to get kennel space for it at the shelter. The only exception to this would be if there was a safety concern or medical emergency with the animal.

Are you able to travel to our Retreat (5007 Max Ridge Ct in Jeffersontown), Main Campus (241 Steedly Dr, and/or East Campus (1000 Lyndon Ln) during office hours?

All animals in need will be picked up from our retreat and most of them will be returned to our Main or East Campus. Shelter hours are typically 10 am - 6 pm Monday-Friday and 11 am - 5 pm Saturday and Sunday.

Space

Are you able to separate your foster animals from your household pets for at least 7-10 days to protect them from illness and allow for a proper adjustment period?

Most of the animals coming to us are stressed after being transported and spending time in the shelter. We also do not know how many of them behave with other animals, so being able to keep them separate while they settle into your home and you get to know them is very important.

Are you able to handle any potential home damage, such as damage to a carpet, clothing, and/or furniture, that may be caused by an animal?

Many of the animals needing foster have only been with us for a very short time and we do not know much about them. We are happy to provide crates and other items to help reduce the risk of damage, but fosters should be be prepared for anything as we do not know how many of these animals behave in a home environment or what training, if any, they have received. KHS is unable to reimburse for any damage caused by foster pets.

Care

Are you prepared to handle sickness of your foster animal?

We thoroughly check our animals for signs of illness, but are unable to closely monitor every animal in the short time they will be with us. Many of these animals are coming from poor conditions due to the flooding and will be on meds for minor health concern such as a cold, diarrhea, or intestinal parasites. KHS provides the medical care for these conditions, but you must be comfortable caring for the animals while they get better.

Are you comfortable with the unknown?

Most of what we know about the animals in need of foster is what we see on transport or here in the shelter. Behavior in the shelter can be very different than behavior that you will see in your home. Having a sense of humor and some patience are very helpful to ensure you enjoy your time as a foster.

Last, but certainly not least

Are you excited to know that you helped save the life of animal?

Becoming an emergency foster with the Kentucky Humane Society will allow us to create more room in the shelter so we can save more animals. You will also be providing a safe and caring environment for an animal in need to de-stress and you will help us learn more about their personality so we can better match them with a new family.

Things to keep in mind with foster animals

While fostering can be a very fun and rewarding experience, there are a few guidelines that will help make the experience safer and more enjoyable for everybody. Below are some of the basic rules and guidelines for foster families. Please review them carefully. If you have any additional questions, feel free to email us!

  • Be prepared for anything. Remember, we don’t know what many of these animals have been through. We don’t know their past, we don’t know how they have been treated, we don’t know how their living situation once was, and most importantly, we don’t know their true personality. All we do know is what we see here at our facility and what little (if any) information their previous caretaker provided. We try our very best to tell you as much as we can about any animal(s) we are sending home with you, but they may have a very different personality once they are comfortable.

  • Never leave young children unattended with any foster. This includes dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens. Children and animals can both be unpredictable. Even fun play can get out of hand quickly. Remember that what occurs in your home affects these animals now and in the future. We want to set everyone up for success.

  • Inform us if the foster bites anyone (you included) right away. This includes any time teeth break skin, even if only in play.

  • Keep dogs on leash unless confined in your home or a fenced back yard. Cats are not allowed outside unless in a carrier being transported to or from the shelter.

  • Do not take dogs to off-leash dog areas or dog parks.

  • Keep all foster animals separate from resident pets for AT LEAST the first 7 days. Foster animals need time to decompress from the stress of transport and being in the shelter. This separation gives them time to become comfortable in your home without the added stress of multi-animal interactions. Remember that what occurs in your home affects these animals now and in the future. We want to set everyone up for success.

  • Bring your foster animal(s) in for needed medical care and be on time to appointments. If you are running behind, contact us as soon as you know you will be late. We have a very full schedule at the shelter and this helps ensure we can provide you and your fosters that best care and attention possible.

  • Report any behavior or medical concerns to us right away. Behavior concerns can be emailed to foster@kyhumane.org. Medical concerns can be emailed to fostertech@kyhumane.org.

  • Utilize only positive reinforcement training. KHS does not permit the use of choke chains, prong collars, electric collars (for a fence or otherwise), leash corrections, squirt bottles. verbal or physical reprimands, or any other training or management methods along those lines.

    • If your foster has behaviors you are concerned about or would like to change, or even if you just want to work on basic manners with them, contact us before beginning any training with them. We have a trained behavior staff who are more than happy to help you work through any issues.

If you're ready to help, submit an Emergency Foster Form now!