Foster Care Program


foster program

About the Program

Humane Society of Missouri’s (HSMO’s) Foster Care Program is all about providing second chances. This program places animals in temporary homes until they are ready to find their forever homes. Foster parents open up their homes and hearts to animals in need. These dedicated volunteers provide an opportunity to grow and socialize shelter pets from abused and neglected animals to those displaced due to disasters and unforeseen emergencies.

How You Can Get Involved

Become a foster parent and provide love and care to animals in your own home. Foster parents decide when, how long, and what animals they foster. All food, medical care, and supplies are provided by HSMO. Emergency Care foster parents are also needed to provide emergency lodging and care during times of disaster.

If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent, call 314-802-5710 or email [email protected].

If you’re unable to foster, you can still support the program with a donation. We cannot do this without the financial support of caring people like YOU!

Mission Statement

HSMO’s Foster Care Program provides an opportunity for eligible animals to become adoptable companions. It’s a program brought forth from the heart. Our Foster Care Program is a combined effort of dedicated staff and volunteers who willingly give their time and attention to animals who would normally be found unsuitable for adoption due to age, health or behavior. The Foster Care Program is an extension of the mission of HSMO to provide second chances to animals in need.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will the fostering period last?

It depends on the species, age, and condition of the animal(s) you are fostering. Two to eight weeks is not unusual for healthy underage kittens or puppies, but an animal recovering from surgery or undergoing treatment for heartworm may require a longer period of time.

Can my foster animals play with my pets?

It depends. Nursing, newly weaned animals, and animals being treated for a contagious illness should be kept separate from your pet. Older animals and animals being fostered for socialization may benefit from interactions and playtime. Our Veterinarian and Foster Care Coordinator will advise you on how to best provide for your foster pet.

How old do you need to be to become a Foster Care Volunteer?

The primary, daily caregiver must be at least 18 or older. Providing foster care is a great way for children to get involved with helping homeless animals, but their interactions must be supervised by an adult at all times. Due to their frail condition, very young animals should not be handled by children under four.

Can my foster animal(s) go outside?

Cats and kittens must be kept indoors-only during the entire fostering period. Unweaned puppies must also be kept indoors. Weaned, active pups that have started their vaccines and adult dogs may be allowed outdoors in your secure, fenced yard under your direct supervision. Puppies under six months and dogs being treated for contagious illnesses should never be taken to public areas or dog parks.

What if the animals require veterinary treatment?

There’s a good chance that most of the animals you foster will require some type of medication or vaccines but don’t worry, HSMO provides all veterinary care, treatments, and vaccinations at no cost to you.

What if something comes up and I need to leave town?

While we hope you can be available for the entire fostering period, we understand that things come up. If this happens, please contact the Foster Care Coordinator or your Foster Representative to schedule returning the animals to HSMO and we’ll look for another volunteer who can take over. Please note: If you are going out of town, you cannot hire someone to take care of your foster animals and animals cannot be transferred to another caregiver’s home unless that person is a registered HSMO Foster Care Volunteer and the transfer has been re-approved by the Foster Care Coordinator.

I have additional questions!

If you have additional questions or concerns, please email [email protected]

First step? Apply to become a volunteer! Then, you’ll receive information about attending an upcoming Volunteer Orientation Session

Submit your volunteer application now »