Become a Foster Family
Fostering for MEHS requires a state-issued license and registration as a foster parent through an annual licensing application. This is typically submitted in Spring of each year.
MEHS does not frequently utilize foster families. We do, however, maintain a list of licensed foster homes for emergencies and/or extreme over-crowded situations. Potential foster homes are urged to follow the procedures identified below to submit a foster application through MEHS. Foster families should be aware that the need for foster homes is not a regular occurrence.
Fostering Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of animals need foster homes? Puppies or kittens too young to be adopted, An abused dog or cat that needs socialization and tender loving care, An injured dog or cat recovering from surgery, An abandoned mother with a litter of kittens or puppies, Any animal when the shelter becomes overcrowded
Who provides the veterinary care? MEHS is responsible for all veterinary treatment for animals in foster care. Foster parents are responsible for providing time and lots of love!
Can foster parents adopt their foster companion animal? You bet! As long as foster parents meet the shelter requirements that is necessary for adopting that animal.
How long do animals stay in foster homes? It completely depends on the animal and situation: the average stay in a foster home is two-three weeks. However, some animals who are recovering from an injury may stay for a few months.
Are foster animals contagious? Will my pets or my health be jeopardized? It is always a health risk to expose your animal to other animals, whether at the off-leash areas, the vet waiting room, or other common animal areas. But if the foster parent's own animals are current on their vaccinations, maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, are not elderly or very young-and therefore their immune systems are not compromised-then the health risk is minimal. If you or someone in your household is immune-compromised, consult your doctor before fostering. If you or someone in your household is pregnant, talk to your doctor before fostering cats.
How do I get started?
- Search the Illinois Department of Agriculture website for Fostering Application
- Complete the form and submit it with a $25 fee to MEHS for review
- MEHS staff will contact you regarding licensing process
- Complete training and read MEHS Foster Care Manual.
For questions about the Foster Program, please email email@example.com.