Cat Foster Basics

Mar 16, 2021 | All About Cats, Foster Resources

Thank you for opening your home and heart to shelter animals in need of a little extra care and nurturing. We hope you will find your experience as a foster parent rewarding. You are an essential link in providing these animals with permanent, loving homes.

Foster Home Guidelines

  • Have a separate isolation area for the new animal(s) to assess health and to prevent spread of possible disease to your household.
  • “Baby proof’ your foster area, i.e. by putting away any poisons and preventing access to electrical cords, etc.
  • Put any valuables out of foster animal(s) reach.
  • No foster cats are to have access to the outdoors!
  • Your foster cats and kittens must have a litter box separate from your own cats.

How will the WCAS prepare me for fostering?

  • By furnishing a training manual
  • By offering support and guidance throughout the fostering process

What will WCAS provide?

  • Veterinary care
  • Collar (plastic ID collar with impound number)
  • Carrier for cats or puppies
  • Food
  • Litter

What will I need to provide for the animal?

  • Transport for emergency or outside veterinary appointments
  • Transport back and forth to WCAS for boosters, etc.
  • Bowls
  • Treats & Toys
  • A completed personality profile
  • Play/exercise time upon return
  • Crate/gate (if necessary)
  • Socialization & TLC

Keep in Mind…

Most likely, acting as a foster parent to an animal will be smooth sailing and remarkably fulfilling, but the following issues could arise:

  • Animal is not housetrained (especially puppies and kittens)
  • Animal has not been trained
  • Animal chews or scratches
  • Animal is not spayed or neutered
  • Animal barks or whines
  • Animal needs to be crated or gated
  • Animal is aggressive toward other animals
  • Animal is not accustomed to living indoors
  • Animal may develop medical problems (ringworm, upper respiratory infection, kennel cough, parvo, intestinal parasites, etc)

We will try our best to provide you with complete information on an animal before you agree to foster it and will do our best to ensure a proper match with you and your household. We will not ask anyone to foster an animal with a known case of ringworm or parvo. We encourage you to remain in contact with the foster coordinator or kennel manager throughout the fostering period to keep us updated. Remember, there is support available — just ask.

Fostering Procedures

As a volunteer for the foster program, you will be on a master list of potential, temporary caregivers for animals in need. You will remain in our database until you request removal or we remove your name from the list.

Sometimes the need for foster parents is sporadic. Because this program runs on a case-by-case basis, there may be long periods of time when you do not hear from us. It may be a few weeks, a few months, or longer until you are called.

Once the need for a foster parent arises, we will contact a foster parent who best matches the needs of the animal(s), e.g., if you prefer to foster only kittens, if you prefer not to house large dogs, etc.

Before releasing the animal to you, we will:

  • Check its health, including vaccinations, parasite treatments, parvovirus testing (if a puppy); some puppies or kittens may be too young for any vaccinations.
  • Set a tentative return date for booster vaccination administering if necessary; and
  • Set a tentative date for animal to check back in from foster care.

Pet First Aid and Basic Health Care

As a foster parent, you will probably encounter situations that require knowledge of animal handling, medicating, and general first aid. In the following section, there are descriptions of common problems and general handling suggestions. Of course, for medical situations that are out of the ordinary, we will attempt to thoroughly prepare you before you take the animal home.

First aid can be defined as health or treatment given to the ill or injured pet. This is the first treatment given to the patient, and any treatment given is better than none at all. When an animal is injured or ill, it becomes important to know what to do to best help that pet. The treatment of minor problems may begin and end with the treatment given in first aid. Severe or life threatening illness or injury will require not only immediate first aid treatment, but also further, more advanced treatment by a veterinarian.

WCAS Foster Program Contacts

Certified Vet Tech (815) 319-4140. This is your primary contact for medical and boosters. This person is full-time at WCAS. Email contact is the preferred method of communication. At this time, Barb Hanson at is our Certified Vet Tech.

If you have any questions regarding your particular foster regarding URI, sneezing, hair loss, lethargy, dehydration, or other medical concerns. If no answer, please leave a voice mail and call back number. If it is an emergency, please call the exam room number during open hours at (815) 319-4117, explain your situation and they will contact someone. (For emergency situations after hours, see “Adoption Coordinator and “OnCall Animal Services Officer”).

Adoption & Volunteer Program Coordinator (815) 319-4127 or cell 815-713-8269. Call the Amber Pinnon, Adoption & Volunteer Program Coordinator if you have a medical emergency after hours or if the Kennel Supervisor or Veterinarian is not available. Please leave a voicemail message or text her cell phone number after hours. Amber’s email address is   If you can’t reach the Adoption & Volunteer Program Coordinator, please call the main number and leave a message for the OnCall Animal Services Officer.

Kennel Manager (815) 319-4138. Eddie Jackson, Kennel Manger. Please leave a voicemail message. Eddie’s email address is If you can’t reach the Kennel Manager, you can always call the main number and leave a message for the OnCall Animal Services Officer.

OnCall Animal Services Officer (815) 319-4100, listen for instructions to contact an officer based on your location for East Side or West Side.The OnCall Officer is your contact if you have an emergency and nobody else is available. Leave a message and the Officer will return your call as soon as possible.

Public Shelter Hours

Mondays 11am-7pm, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday 11am-5pm, Saturdays 11am-4pm, Sundays-Closed. Animal Services representatives are available by phone from 8:30 to 5pm weekdays. Voicemail for an officer is available during closed hours. On weekdays WCAS closes 12:30pm to 1:30pm for lunch.

Mailing Address

4517 N. Main Street

Rockford, IL 61103


Public Phone: (815)319-4100

Exam Room: (815)319-4117 (if no answer DO NOT leave a voicemail message)
Contact the OnCall Animal Services Officer after business hours.


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