We're looking for Volunteers!
Without an adoption facility, all the animals that come into our care are fostered in the homes of volunteers. One advantage of fostering is that the one-on-one care gives us an opportunity to assess the animal’s behaviour and needs so we are more able to successfully match an animal to a forever home. The disadvantage is we are often scrambling to find somewhere for a new animal to go. If we have a list of volunteers we can call, we have a better chance of matching the incoming animal with an available foster.
Fostering saves lives. Fostering is a vital link, providing us with time to search for a permanent home. It is also very personally rewarding! Sometimes the reward is seeing an animal blossom after experiencing a difficult situation. Sometimes it is knowing that your foster is going to a family who will love and care for them. Fostering is a fantastic way to bring an animal into your life, and to give them the safe space to become more confident and happy while in your care.
How it Works
Fill out a foster application to give us an idea of your interests, availability and resources. Then our intake and adoption volunteer will follow up with a phone call to answer any questions you may have about the fostering process. When we have an animal arriving that matches your availability, we will contact you and arrange the details.
What you can expect
We supply food and if needed, litter, litter boxes, dishes, and leashes. We cover all medical costs. Sometimes we have advance notice, so we have a few days to prepare. Sometimes we have emergencies and may need a foster for the next day. We will always consult with you first. We pass on as much information as we can about the animals background, personality and needs. Once in a foster home, an animal is able to relax and discover what life is like in your home environment. This decompression phase can take a few days to several weeks, depending on the animal. It can take anywhere from a couple weeks to a few months to find a forever home for an animal. Our goal is to place the animal in a new home as soon as possible but various factors come into play, for instance how soon we’re able to get a vet appointment, what condition the animal is in and how quick the response is from our communities. We advertise for and screen potential adopters. Once a match is found, you will be contacted and a mutually agreeable appointment time to visit the animal is arranged. During fostering, GAHS is ultimately responsible for the animal. If we are unable to find a suitable home on island, we will extend our search off-island.
What we expect from you
If the animal shows signs of physical illness or distress, let us know immediately. Some animals may require socialization or training to increase their chances for adoption. If you have identified an interest in socialization, you will be willing to set up an appropriate environment and spend time working with your foster. Your assessment on how your foster adjusts to a new environment is important to pass on to a potential adopter and helps ensure success. Pictures to share on our Facebook page or our website are always helpful. Once a potential adopter has been approved, they will need to visit the animal within a reasonable time frame before making their final decision.
What we do
We make the appointments with the Haida Gwaii Animal Hospital for medical. All animals coming into our care are treated for parasites, have an initial vet check and are vaccinated. Before they are adopted, if they are over 6 months of age, they are spayed or neutered. We do our best to match an animal with the appropriate family or person. For instance, while not all dogs are great with kids or cats, they might make a terrific, affectionate companion for someone who’s retired with lots of time to share. Or not all cats can live with other cats, but some can. Some dogs prefer to be the only animal in a household, and others fit in perfectly with active families with multiple pets. We are always looking for the best environment for a happy, successful placement for all.
Adopting your foster
Special considerations may be made for fosters or volunteers provided it is done prior to the animal being made available to the public or an adoption in progress. Once the adoption process has begun, and the potential adopter approved, they must not have their option removed because of another interest. The adoption fee for fosters is 1/2 the regular price.
Foster to adopt
In special cases or extenuating behavioral or medical reasons, foster to adopt may be considered, with the intention of the animal ultimately being adopted by the fostering family. As a permanent loving home remains the goal, foster to adopt is not a long-term situation. After a reasonable time, typically 2-3 weeks or 2-3 days after the animal has recovered from medical, the animal must be formally adopted to that foster/adopter following the organization’s standard adoption process, or efforts be made to find a permanent placement.