If you have any questions at all, please contact the foster department directly. Other KHS phone numbers, emails, or departments are unable to answer questions about the foster program.
Our contact info can be found at the bottom of every page on this site and in our signature in every email you receive.
How are we assigned animals to foster?
Once you are an active foster, you will receive a link to a form to fill out. On that form you will provide your foster availability and information about the animal you'd like to foster. We will use this information to match you with an animal in need. We do ask that you only tell us you are able to foster if you can pick up an animal quickly once we notify you and that you keep your availability up to date by filling out a new form if anything changes or you become unavailable.
When we do not have a good match "on deck", we will post in our private foster Facebook group and add the animal on our private foster website. Occasionally, we will send out a mass text/email to all fosters if we are struggling to get animals out of the shelter.
How many animals will I have at once?
When you fill out the foster availability form, please let us know how many animals you are comfortable taking at once. Please keep in mind the following things.
Kittens and puppies typically go out in pairs, or larger groups. We only send single puppies/kittens to foster if they come in to the shelter alone. If you can only take a single puppy or kitten, it may take significantly longer to find a foster for you.
Adult dogs and cats often are sent out to foster by themselves unless they come in as a bonded pair.
Nursing moms with babies can sometimes have up to 12 babies, though litters of 6 or less are most common.
If I want to help a specific animal, am I able to take that animal home?
If you are able to foster, we will ask you to fill out our foster availability form. We use this form to ensure we can make the best match for every animal and person. You are welcome to be very specific about the animal or type of animal you want to foster while filling out the form, but it may limit your ability to be matched with an appropriate foster animal. If you know of a specific animal you'd like to foster, you are welcome to reach out and see if that animal is available for fostering.
How long will I have my foster animal?
Length of foster varies depending on the reason for foster. We always try to have realistic time frame for how long an animal will need foster and match you with someone who fits your needs. Length of foster typically ranges from 1 week up to several months.
What do I do if I have a foster and something comes up and I cannot keep it?
We understand that life happens and sometimes something unexpected comes up after you commit to taking a foster animal home. If you have an emergency or an unexpected trip, please contact us. We will work with you to find the best solution for you and the animal.
Sometimes new fosters can feel a little overwhelmed when they get home with a new foster animal (or animals) and they think it would be best to return the animal. If this happens, please contact us for support. We can often provide suggestions to help you and the animal both feel more comfortable. We do ask that you try and give it 2 or so days before making up your mind. It can take some time for you and the foster to get to know each other and start to develop a routine. It can be stressful for some animals to be moved around a lot and we always like to try and help you work with them in your home when possible.
Do I need an appointment or can I come to the shelter anytime?
All foster care requires an appointment. This includes pickups, vaccines, and medical visits. The ONLY exception to this is if your foster animal is having a medical emergency during shelter hours.
Where do I need to go for foster care, and how often will I go there?
All foster care (pickups, vet visits, vaccine visits, surgery returns) are done at our Main Campus located at 241 Steedly Dr in Louisville.
How often you need to come in can vary. If your foster gets ill, sometimes you may need to come in several times a week for vet checks or medication. Other times, you may only come in every 2-4 weeks. Kittens and puppies between 4 weeks and 4 months of age will need to come in every 2 weeks for vaccines.
Do I need to pay for vet care?
No, you never need to pay for vet care. We have a full vet staff at our shelter. We also contract with specialists and a 24 hour vet for cases we are unable to handle ourselves. If you take your foster to an outside vet, we cannot reimburse you for any care you receive.
Do I need to buy a lot of supplies?
We provide all the basics: food, litter for cats, crates/kennels, towels/blankets, litter boxes (we do not always have plastic boxes, but can give cardboard trays), food and water bowls. We do ask that any reusable supplies borrowed from us are returned when you return your foster.
There are a few items we do not always have available or things you may want to buy yourself: plastic litter boxes, treats and toys, a digital kitchen scale for weighing young kittens, baby gates, a play pen to contain kittens and small puppies.
I want to adopt my foster (or know someone who does). What now?
Yay! We are so happy you or a friend have bonded with your foster! As a foster, you are able to find homes for your animals while they are with you; however, anyone interested in adoption must be approved for adoption by KHS staff. Please contact us when you have found an adopter and we will let you know the next steps.
This all sounds great! How do I get started?
I've filled everything out and signed my waivers. What next?
You should have received an email welcoming you to the foster program. There are links in that email so you can access our foster website and Facebook group. If you have not received any communication from us, please check your spam folder. If you don't see the email, please let us know.