Who better to tell you what fostering is like than the people actively doing it? Read on to hear what some of our fosters have to say about why they foster.

2019 was my first year fostering and let’s be honest, snuggling with teeny tiny kittens is one of the best things in the entire world.

By opening space in my home for a kitten (or 3-5) the Kentucky Humane Society is able to open up the space they’d occupied at the shelter, which means another litter of kittens can have that space and be taken care of by the wonderful staff.

I’ll be honest - Fostering isn’t all rainbows. I’ve had babies who were terrified of humans, who were bullied out of food by littermates and have been total poopy messes struggling with GI issues. But caring for them, helping them learn humans are safe and watching them come out of their shells and absolutely thrive is so rewarding.

Do you get attached? Of course. Can dropping them off to go up for adoption be really hard? Absolutely. But as the Kitten Lady, Hannah Shaw, who is pretty much the Patron Saint of Fostering says, “Goodbye is the goal.” Helping kittens get to 8 weeks and 2lbs so they can get spayed/neutered and then adopted means I am part of their journey to their forever home, whether they’re with me for a week or a few months.

I clearly can’t pick one photo - the collage is my 2019 babies and the others are mainly hilarious moments I’ve been able to capture.

#FosteringSavesLives #AdoptDontShop - Andrea

I am a first time fosterer and I am hooked! I opened my home to Hasbro, a very sweet, but very scared pup.  I have been earning his trust and building his confidence a little more each day.  It has been the most rewarding experience for me.  I am going to miss him terribly when he finds his furever home, but knowing I helped and can continue to help others will make it all worth it. 💓 - MaryBeth

We foster to provide a loving and stress-free home for animals in need & open up more space at KHS. But what we discovered is a positive, supportive community of foster owners and we fell in love with every one of our fosters! It’s been so positive & fulfilling! - Allison

My husband and I chose to start fostering because we know how intense the shelter situation is, and no animal deserves to be in there, alone. They all deserve a chance and a warm and cozy place to sleep and play. Our first foster was a mama and 9 babies and it was a lot, but so incredibly worth it to take care of them while they grew and came into their personalities. Now we have an older boy and to be able to give him a temporary home until he finds his forever home, feels like one of the greatest acts of kindness we could ever do.

We have such a love for animals and being able to contribute to their wellbeing and happiness is so rewarding and you can see how thankful the animals are with every wet kiss, every tail wag, and every snuggle. - Alexis

I started fostering with KHS because both of my goldens had died of old age and I didn't have anyone to take care of anymore.  I was lonely but I wasn't ready to get another dog yet. I was a dog mom for 50 years but have never had a cat. I was given 3 kittens to foster and was enchanted by them. I had always been told that cats were so aloof but these kittens were so sweet and affectionate. They stole my heart.  Every bit of effort that I give to fostering kittens is returned many times over by the joy that I get from seeing them playing and thriving. I think it is my job to love them and prepare them for their forever homes. It is hard to let them go but my daughter is severely allergic so that makes it easier for me and then I get another set to love.- Catherine 

I signed up to foster after my dog fell in love with my neighbor's foster puppies. I got two beautiful boys to foster for a short time, but they left a huge imprint on my heart. Knowing that I was getting them ready for their new families was such a joy. I loved them and knew they would go on to wonderful homes!

I did get attached, but since I used to be a nursery director at a former church, I reframed my thinking to that where I got to teach them, love them, then give them to parents... just like the babies I cared for before.

It's a blessing to be part of this process and to give temporary homes to animals in need!! - Karen

I foster because I’ve seen them broken, abused, and thrown away.

I foster because I see the love and loyalty in their eyes.

I foster because my house is full but “ just one more” is ok for a short time.

I foster because I have time, money , and love to give.

I foster because In a world full of hurt and pain and things I can’t change I CAN make a difference. - Wendy

I foster because I love to see so many animals have a chance at a better life. I love my pets but they are the same thing every day. With fosters, they all have unique personalities and I've learned so much about pet care. KHS is so supportive and helpful and friendly, an excellent rescue to foster for! They really do love their animals and ensure everyone has what they need to thrive - fosters and fostered alike! - 5

I love being able to help pets when they most need it. And it’s so nice to always have a new pup at home to give love to. - Talia

Fostering kittens has meant so much to me now that I'm working from home and living alone. Caring for a soft little one and lovingly preparing them for a good forever home is a real gift. And my dog has had lots of fun (and demonstrated lots of patience) with the little ones.

The whole KHS team is incredible and offers such great support to all the fosters. If you've got some extra love to give, join the foster family! - Elizabeth

We are fostering a little doggo in the Safe Haven program. I know first-hand what it’s like to have a dog and not be able to take her where life is taking you. As fosters, my husband and I give this terrier’s owners the chance to get back on their feet and hopefully welcome their dog home very soon.  In the meantime, we’re blessed with a temporary yet amazing companion, and we’re blessed to take care of her during a time of need. - Angela

"I could never do it!" It's a sentiment us fosters hear time and time again. While fostering can be challenging, it is one of the most rewarding experiences. It is so much fun to be the one to "break animals out of the shelter" and learn each of their personalities while giving them a safe, relaxing place to decompress and be loved. Saying goodbye is never easy, but I always say, "For every animal we re-home, we make space in our house and hearts to save one more." The best part about fostering through KHS, other than providing love and care to so many animals, is our foster community; we are one big family! - Lauren

I am so glad I decided to give fostering a try way back in 2011. I have been able to help so many different animals recover, grow and experience love over the last decade working with The KY Humane Society. They have made this program work seamlessly for their foster parents and it’s great working with a group of people who are organized, informative and friendly. 

The thing I love about fostering the most is the love and laughter I receive from these sweet animals. Whether it’s a litter of puppies running around playing, tiny kittens snuggling in my lap, or my first foster fail who was such an amazing senior cat. I know I am helping save these animals (and KHS) by caring for them and keeping them in my home, but the animals give back so much to me in return. They help make a sad day brighter and the feeling of seeing them thrive, grow and find love with an adopter is such a rewarding experience for me.

Without volunteers offering their homes and their hearts to these broken or discarded creatures, the mission of animal rescue and rehabilitation would not be able to continue and succeed in saving so many lives. Both animal and human. ❤️ - Kiera

Considering being a foster? Let me give you a few great reasons to say yes.

That's a few great reasons. You will make a difference!! - Tammy

I foster because I know without this program so many animals will be left behind and face who knows what. By fostering I can ensure more animals are shown the love and affection they need to become life long pets for fellow animal lovers. - Robert

Fostering is such a rewarding experience not only for the animal in need but also myself. Whether it’s a puppy, medically fragile dog, shy or fearful, neglected or abused, or senior dog, each and every animal is special in their own way.

There is an animal to foster for everyone. Cats, kittens, dogs, puppies, short and long term fosters THEY ALL NEED US.

People always ask me how we foster because we have to let them go. I always tell them, We have to let our hearts break a little in order for theirs to live and this is so true. These animals need fosters so they can have the fighting chance they so deserve, so their hearts can live and go on to love and be loved.

You should totally try fostering, it’s an amazing experience and very much needed. - Dawn

After my cat died at almost 21, I couldn't imagine adopting another cat for a long time but fostering helped fill the cat-shaped hole in my heart. We have finally adopted but we still love to foster. It's the best way to help homeless cats find their forever homes. - Tiffany

I foster because it means I can help raise someone's future best friends! My own pets bring me so much joy, happiness,  and comfort that I know the fosters will bring to someone. It's a win win for all! - Theresa R

We have allergies and can't keep animals more than a couple of weeks. We foster to experience pet ownership in short bursts and help provide temporary safe spaces for needy animals. We have helped a couple of cats that were nervous in the shelter and not doing well, and a dog whose back leg was recently amputated. - Theresa L

Looking into the eyes of the animals I foster is pure joy. They are so dependent on you to live, then seeing them grow and finally find a loving home is priceless.  You learn so much about animal care with each foster. - Dawn 

Fostering is a great way to give back to the community with minimal expense and give wonderful future pets a stress-free and loving environment to prepare for their forever home. - Allison

The reason our family fosters has changed over the years. It started with our daughter’s request, since we weren’t ready to adopt just yet because we were grieving a loss of our family pet, Lola. After we adopted a year or so later the reason shifted to loving having all the animals in our home to cuddle and play with. Now, after several years, it’s morphed into giving the fostered animals a better chance at adoption.

When we foster we see a side of the dog/cat that the shelter staff most likely doesn’t get to see. Do they like to cuddle up close, want some space our prefer alone time? Do they walk well on a leash? Do they like other animals? How about kids, how did they respond to a toddler? Each foster family offers a chance to get to know them in an intimate way and all that information helps the KHS find the best family.

I’ve always seen KHS put the animals first and all the information we feed them is put to good use finding the most perfect forever home that’s available.

We love being a part of the KHS Foster Family. They offer support at every turn and it’s our families way to give back to the community. Knowing the animals we help have a better chance at adoption makes it all worth it.

❤️🐾❤️ - Tammy

I foster because every dog deserves a chance. I foster all types of dogs and puppies, but my favorite type of fosters are scared/timid, seniors, injured and pregnant/momma with puppies! I love these types of dogs in need because they need a special kind of love! It is extremely rewarding to help a timid dog come out of their shell, a momma birth her puppies and have a safe indoor environment to raise them, nurse an injured dog back to health and last but certainly not least, comfort the seniors who have often lost their families of several years! Fostering is awesome and I wish everyone would give it a shot! Start out with a puppy/kitten or a senior dog/cat, I promise you won’t regret it! - Lacy

I started fostering in NYC when I found out that foster kittens had three days to find foster before animal control euthanized them for space. There was literally a death list that went out every night with the next days unlucky kittens listed. How do you not foster under those circumstances? But there was nothing like KHS in Brooklyn. Rescue organizations would pull kittens for you and get them fixed when the time came, but that was it. Fosters fed them, paid for vet visits, adopted them out, everything else. I am so grateful for the resources I have here. KHS makes it so easy to foster! I had a foster fail in my first litter, an orange tabby called Mister Mann, and after ten years of fostering with me he died last summer. I was so heartbroken I wasn’t sure I could go on, but now when I see an orange kitten looking for foster I try to do it for him. I remember seeing his little face on that list and it’s hard to say no. - Hillery

I mostly foster kittens, and I love it. What better way to get to experience all of their wonderful personalities and get all the snuggles without a lifelong commitment? Getting them socialized and accustomed to other animals, household sounds, grooming, and giving them a healthy start is very rewarding. 

I have friends who say that they could never foster because of how hard it is to return them when they go up for adoption, and that is the hardest part. But I gladly take all the little heartbreaks in order to ensure that sick, and orphan animals in our area get a chance at life. I have family that live in areas where euthanasia is common practice. The shelters don't have the money, personnel  or time to care for all the animals they have come through their doors. I'm proud to work with KHS and ensure that if a small shelter reaches out for help because they have too many animals and not enough funds, some of those animals can come here, instead of being put down. 

I'm a huge supporter of spay and neuter programs and all the work that KHS does to help animal hoarding and neglect  situations. The more fosters they have the bigger difference that can be made for the animals in our area. Join us, we will share laughs with you during the fun times and tissues for the sad goodbyes, My youngest cat was a foster kitten with a cold and we decided she had to be part of our family so we adopted her in Dec, she turns a year old next week. You can't keep them all, but sometimes you find a little soul who belongs with you. - Paula

I became a foster mom to help as many animals as I can. To be a loving link between being in a temporary home, out of the shelter environment and receiving lots of love while waiting for their fur ever family. - Kim

To begin with, I had never been around animals.  I was 49 when my husband and I rescued a dog about 10 years prior to fostering, but I had never considered having a cat.  However, there is no shortage of stories of how kittens are often mistreated or abandoned, and that breaks my heart.  So feeling I was in no danger of actually wanting to keep one, I asked my husband what he thought about my fostering kittens.  “No cats!” was his instant, vehement reply which meant there was really no danger of keeping any of the foster animals.  With a little cajoling and promising not to keep them, “Mr. No Cats” relented and at the first opportunity, I came home with two of the cutest little fur balls you ever saw.

Thus began my adventure of bottle feeding, laying one on my husband’s tummy in the recliner while I fed the sibling.  My posting photos on FB so my cat-loving friends could see was met with resounding applause, advice and encouragement.  Together we watched these 1lb. babies explore, take over our 55lb. dog, Molly’s, bed, nap in her food bowl, melt the resolve of Mr. “No Cats”, and generally cause me and the rest of my FB friends to fall in love. 

As the day approached for their chip/fix surgery and adoption quickly approached, I was nervous as I realized I could no more have parted with these babies than I could a body part.  They slept in a cuddle-puddle when they napped and I felt they just had to be adopted together.  Everyone seemed to know I was in love with them from Day 1, but I wouldn’t even name them for fear of becoming too attached.  Never mind that I took almost constant pictures of every cute milestone they achieved and bought them toys.  Needless to say, I foster-failed big time… with no regrets.  What a joy they have been.  Even Mr. “No Cats” loves them and spoils them worse than I do.  We even bought our next home with them in mind. 

Obviously I wanted to continue fostering, but couldn’t keep them all, so had to figure a way to let go without going to pieces. The KHS Foster Team helped by allowing me to find forever homes for my fosters and bringing the kittens home for their recovery after chip/fix surgery.  Any potential adopters since then are carefully vetted by me, then go through the KHS process before adopting.  Several of my fosters live near me in the neighborhood and I even babysat once when one family went out of town.

Even though I love to find homes for my babies, there were times no one came forward.   That is when I was introduced to the Perfect Day Cat Cafe’s wonderful program and staff.  I would bring my kittens in with tears streaming; they would immediately put me at ease, letting me stay as long as I wanted to feel comfortable with how my kitten(s) would get along with the others, and also potential adopters during their 50-minute sessions. 

The Cat Cafe has my complete and total confidence, even though letting these babies go has never become easy… but that caring is what fostering is all about.  We bring animals who were otherwise in unsafe conditions, or in an unhealthy state, and give them the personal care and environment to grow to the size and age to be safely adopted to a loving forever home. 

Fostering is fun and it is such a privilege to be giving back and helping these smallest of God’s creatures.  I wouldn’t trade one minute of my fostering experience for anything, and the knowledge gained has helped me to assist animals outside the program when friends found an abandoned young cat with kittens… but that’s a story for another time. 

My story is about kittens, but the same goes for cats, puppies, dogs, horses, and other animals in need.  God bless the KHS Foster Team and all those with enough love in their heart to consider fostering. - Diana