MVAS is the only animal shelter between Missoula and Kalispell, and, along with two small rescues (Lifesavers Animal Rescue and All Hearts Rescue), we serve a largely rural, resource-strapped and reservation community where the number of homeless, abandoned, surrendered, stray and breeding animals regularly exceeds our facility’s capacity.
Without a robust foster-care network, we would be forced to turn away animals regularly. The benefits of foster care for shelter animals are immense. They include:
Protecting immuno-deficient puppies, kittens and seniors from the high-risk shelter environment
Freeing up kennel and cage space for animals we would otherwise have to turn away
Socializing animals (especially puppies and kittens) with children and other animals
Giving kennel-stressed animals a respite from the anxiety of shelter life
Bringing joy and fulfillment to the foster home family
Giving the foster animal free promotion and the possibility of finding a new home through the foster family’s connections and efforts
Giving our staff some much-needed relief
Providing foster animals training and attention that they cannot consistently receive at the shelter
Providing a home environment to a homeless animal (especially at night) while it awaits adoption (often because it cannot be adopted until its spay/neuter appointment is available)
The one absolute requirement for fostering a shelter animal is up-to-date vaccination of resident animals (cats if you are fostering a cat, and dogs if fostering a dog). This includes the FVRCP and rabies vaccination for cats and the DAPP and rabies vaccination for dogs. In exceptional cases we may require bordatella (kennel cough) vaccinations as well.
We require a foster application to be completed and approved to qualify for fostering. Once you have been approved, you will be added to our foster database, and we may contact you if we have foster needs. If you are interested in being considered for our foster program, please go to the "foster Application form" and then read the Foster Agreement.
In addition, you are asked to sign a foster contract each time you commit to fostering an animal.
The last requirement, and perhaps the most important, is simply a commitment to keep our animal safe, contained, well-loved and well-cared-for. Depending upon circumstances, this may sometimes require a securely fenced yard.
WHO CAN FOSTER?
We regularly send animals to foster in Missoula, Whitefish, Kalispell and farther, although in certain cases this is not practical. We cannot provide transportation, so we rely on foster families to pick up and deliver our foster animals when needed.
WHAT IS PROVIDED?
If needed, we will always provide everything you need for the care our animals for the duration of the foster period. This includes but is not limited to: food, crates, play pens, carriers, blankets, puppy pads, towels, sheets, bowls, toys, medication, etc.
One special form of foster is taking an animal home on a trial basis to determine compatibility for adoption. This form of fostering is sometimes available (determined on a case-by-case basis). The requirements and paperwork are no different than those for our general foster program. In addition, a completed adoption application should be provided. With rare exceptions, foster-with-intent is usually available for no more than two weeks.
Foster-with-intent is sometimes used to expedite homing an animal when adoption is not yet available due to spay/neuter status. In these cases, assuming that the match is a good one, adoptions are finalized once the sterilization surgery has been completed.