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Foster Care Information

The main objective of our Foster Care Program is to assist IOW Animal Services in providing a more personal sense of care for our animals. This plays a huge part in finding the perfect home for these animals. They must be familiar with humans and other animals in order to have a successful transition into their new home.  We have many animals that come in and out of the shelter very quickly and others that stay for months. Environments like the shelter can be very stressful to some animals so we try to provide them with a more stable place to stay while searching for their forever home.  Even though all animals could benefit from foster care, the younger ones such as kittens and puppies with no mothers, benefit more than any. The younger years are when they begin learning how to act, bathe themselves and other qualities that animals need to survive.

  • If you are interested in fostering a particular animal, please speak with a staff member first
  • Fill out our foster application (which includes personal information, information about your home and other animals in your home)
  • Application must be approved by a staff member and all health records and/or personality traits must be shared with interested foster parents before the animal leaves the facility
  • Once the application is approved the animal can leave with the foster family
  • From there, the foster parents are responsible for providing food, water, proper shelter, and a loving home to stay in until their forever family is found. (photos of fostered animal interacting in the home, with the family or with other pets are always very helpful for marketing)
  • The shelter is responsible for any medical issues that arise and may be able to provide some food and other necessary things IF we have extra available
  • As a Foster, please do not take any animal to a vet for any medical treatment without approval from a staff member first.
  • If things are not working out with the foster family or the other pets in the house,  the foster animal can be brought back to the shelter during regular business hours.
  • Your foster animal will continue to be marketed on Facebook and Petfinder. If you are fostering with intentions to adopt, we will hold off on marketing until you make a decision  However, please understand that the foster families have first priority so we ask that you make your decision soon if there are other interests shown so that we do not miss out on an adoption.
  • If you are fostering a dog with intentions to adopt we allow for a 1 to 2 week period for fostering dogs that are not under a medical hold.
  • If there is another family that is interested in adopting your foster animal, we ask that you work with us or the interested family directly to arrange a meet and greet with the animal.
  • Interested families will need to complete an adoption application and provide payment along with a photo id to the Isle of Wight County Animal Shelter during regular business hours.
  • Once the adoption is complete, all medical records are given to family, shots and vaccines are administered to the animal and a spay/neuter appointment will be arranged (if not already completed before adoption)

    Foster/Foster to Adopt Application
Please email us at or call the shelter directly during regular business hours at 757-365-6318 with questions. Thank you!