Thank you for your interest in becoming an RSPCA Qld foster carer. We are always keen to work with enthusiastic, compassionate people who would like to help give an animal a second chance at a safe and happy life.
Foster carers provide much-needed love and support for animals who need temporary care prior to becoming available for adoption.
Our foster carers are unique individuals who dedicate their time to nurturing and loving those who need it most. One of the most rewarding experiences for these carers is seeing a previously uncared-for animal finding who they are and learning to trust once again.
For some foster carers, the experience of fostering an abused or neglected animal can be even more rewarding. These animals are in desperate need of human contact and to the special few fostering these animals, the experience can change their lives.
Over 7,008 animals are cared for by dedicated foster carers each year. As the amount of animals that come through each RSPCA centre grows, it is necessary now more than ever to recruit new foster carers to add to the RSPCA foster family network.
Every animal in a foster home is one less animal that our staff and volunteers need to attend to in the shelter, leaving more resources to dedicate to those in-shelter animals and creating greater capacity so that more animals can come into the RSPCA’s care.
What type of animals are available to foster?
- Puppies and kittens that need a bit more growing time before they can be desexed and made available for adoption.
- Dogs and cats that aren’t coping in the shelter environment and need to be in a home. They may just need a break away from the kennels or they may need to stay in foster until an adoption can be arranged.
- Black tag animals that are awaiting the outcome of a court case.
- Convalescing animals that need some time to recover from illness or injury before being available for adoption.
- Animals with behavioural problems who need some form of rehabilitation before being considered suitable for adoption.
- Legacy animals that are waiting for their owner to return home from a hospital stay.
- Legacy animals that have had their owner pass away and are awaiting adoption.
- Animals that need a safe haven while a domestic violence situation is dealt with.
- Animals that can’t be accommodated at the shelter or adoption centre because of limited space or facilities.
- Animals that are available for adoption in one of our RSPCA adoption centres and need care outside of business hours.
- Animals that have to be evacuated immediately from an emergency situation e.g. floods, bushfires, cyclone, earthquake.
How do I become an RSPCA Foster Carer?
- Be over 18 years of age.
- Read through our FAQs page.
- Complete the Foster Carer Expression of Interest form.
- Attend a 2hr Basic Foster Care Training session at your local RSPCA shelter or adoption centre. Bring copies of your own dog and cat vaccination certificates and, if renting, written permission to have animals from the home owner or real estate agent.
- At the Basic Foster Care Training session, complete a Foster Carer Information form (this gathers all of your personal details, as well as your preferences for the types of animals you’d like to foster).
- Allow a visit by one of our volunteer property checkers to double-check the suitability of your home.
- If all requirements are met, wait to be matched to a suitable animal.
- If fostering an adult dog, attend a “meet and greet” with your new foster animal at the shelter or adoption centre, bringing along your own dogs and all children in the household.
- Sign a Foster Carer Agreement form for every new animal you foster.
What I should be aware of when thinking about Fostering?
Even though it is difficult to predict what types of animals the RSPCA will have that require time in a foster home, on a day to day basis there are currently only a relatively small number of puppies and toy / small sized adult dogs. Especially when compared to the large number of existing carers who have signed up exclusively to foster these animals.
As such, if you only have 4ft fences or only want to foster puppies and toy/small adult dogs, your wait might be considerable (you might not be called at all). Further, if you are signing on to foster kittens, please be aware that outside of cat breeding season (the cooler months), there are relatively few kittens who require foster care.
Our greatest need at the moment is for carers who want to foster medium to large sized adult dogs, who have 5-6ft fences, no young children and no dogs in the home (or maybe one well-socialised medium to large sized dog of your own). We are also always in need of carers who will take adult cats (especially our cat flu kitties) and our canine and feline ringworm cases.