Foster Home Volunteers

Since you have come to our website, we know you love and care about animals and want to help them enjoy the lives they deserve. One of the greatest gifts you can give an animal in need is love and a safe place to be. You may be asked to give a few days or weeks of your time … to the pet who benefits, it means a lifetime. Please consider becoming an Ahimsa House foster care provider today!

 

There are no out-of-pocket costs to providing foster care.

We provide food, crates, bowls, bedding, collars/leashes, toys, and veterinary care. And we’re always available if you need advice or help.

Fewer than 1 in 8 domestic violence shelters nationwide allow pets.

Can you take in a pet until his/her owner can reach safety and find stable, pet-friendly housing? We need foster homes for all types of animals: dogs (especially medium to large dogs), cats, birds, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, mice, rats, guinea pigs, turtles, lizards, fish…even horses and other large animals.

By providing temporary foster care to a pet in need, you’re helping to ensure a brighter future for the animal and human victims of domestic violence. Our program offers 60 days of assistance, so we don’t ask foster homes to take in a pet for longer than that time frame unless circumstances warrant an extension of stay and the foster home is willing. We can also accommodate foster volunteers’ travel/vacation schedules by moving foster animals to boarding facilities temporarily if needed.

The steps involved in becoming and being a foster home are:

  1. You complete the foster home application, which can be found here. We will need a copy of your driver’s license. Please note that the GBI background check consent form must be completed and mailed in to our office. The original, signed copy is needed to complete the check.
  2. We process the application and complete your reference check and background check (please understand that this process may take several weeks depending on the availability of your references and of our volunteers).
  3. An Ahimsa House representative contacts you to schedule a time to complete your foster home check.
  4. An Ahimsa House representative will come to your home and complete the foster home check as required by the GA Department of Agriculture.
  5. We place you on our foster home list. When we have a pet in need of a foster home, we email and/or call you. You let us know if you would like to foster the pet.

Please read thoroughly through our Foster Home Policies & Procedures and ensure you are comfortable abiding by them. If you have any questions or concerns at any time, you can reach us at sally@ahimsahouse.org or 404-496-4038.

Ahimsa House Foster Home Policies & Procedures

**Please print these Policies & Procedures for future reference**

  • Your work with Ahimsa House is confidential. Do not discuss any animals or cases with anyone except a representative of Ahimsa House without express prior authorization. For everyone’s safety, clients and foster homes are not permitted to have contact with one another or to know one another’s identities or locations. If you become aware that confidentiality may have been breached in any manner,  immediately notify Ahimsa House on the 24-hour crisis line at 404-452-6248.
  • Ahimsa House takes numerous precautions to ensure the safety of foster volunteers. However, if you ever encounter a situation where you feel your safety or your foster animal’s safety is at risk, immediately call 911 and then Ahimsa House (404-452-6248), in that order.
  • It is your choice whether or not you disclose to others that you are a foster volunteer for Ahimsa House. We keep our foster home list secret from everyone except Ahimsa House representatives and trusted volunteers.
  • Although we have never had an abuser trace an animal to a particular foster location, and we believe it is unlikely that this would ever occur, we respect your right to take whatever additional precautions you feel necessary to make you comfortable.
  • Many animals who come to Ahimsa House have had difficult lives. They may have been neglected and/or physically abused. Incoming animals are screened by a veterinary professional or volunteer, and are given veterinary care as needed. However, please understand that: a) It is possible that an animal may have a health condition (upper respiratory infection, internal parasites, etc.) that may not be detected until after the animal arrives at your home; and b) It is possible that an animal may have a behavioral issue that may not be detected until after the animal arrives at your home.
  • If health and/or behavioral issues arise, notify an Ahimsa House representative immediately.
  • You have the right to refuse or return an animal for any reason.
  • Do not take an animal to a veterinarian without prior authorization from an Ahimsa House representative, except in the case of a medical emergency.
  • In case of a veterinary emergency, immediately call the Ahimsa House 24-hour crisis line at 404-452-6248. In the event that you are unable to reach an Ahimsa House representative, immediately take the animal directly to the nearest animal emergency clinic and authorize any treatment deemed reasonably necessary by the clinic. Reasonable emergency veterinary expenses will be reimbursed by Ahimsa House in the event that an Ahimsa House representative can not be reached.
  • Immediately notify Ahimsa House at 404-452-6248 if the animal escapes or cannot be located.
  • Do not provide medication (including flea/tick/de-worming products), or make changes to an Ahimsa House animal’s medication or diet, without prior authorization from an Ahimsa House representative.
  • Keep Ahimsa House animals indoors at all times, except for dogs who will receive regular outdoor exercise. Keep the foster animal on a leash or in a pet carrier when outside of your home or fenced yard.
  • Do not leave an Ahimsa House dog unattended in your yard.
  • Do not take any Ahimsa House animal out of your house for any reason, except for regular exercise (for dogs) or emergency veterinary treatment.
  • Do not take any Ahimsa House animal to an off-leash dog park.
  • It is recommended that Ahimsa House dogs be exercised only in the immediate neighborhood of the foster home, to minimize the chance of someone who knows the client and/or abuser recognizing the animal.
  • Do not tie out, chain, or otherwise tether any foster animal.
  • Do not expose any foster animals directly to non-Ahimsa House animals, other than those already in your home, without prior authorization from an Ahimsa House representative.
  • To avoid the spread of disease or parasites to foster animals, maintain the health of other animals living in your home to the best of your ability.
  • Keep areas accessible to the foster animal free of common hazards such as unprotected wires, dangling cords, string, Christmas tree tinsel, toxic chemicals (especially antifreeze and rat poison), and plans and foods known to be toxic to pets. Guidance on “pet-proofing” is available from Ahimsa House.
  • Ensure that all people in your home, whether residents or visitors, keep doors and windows secured (also watch for loose window screens) and that they enter and exit with care so the foster animal does not escape.
  • If maintenance personnel, etc. need to access your home while you are out, take steps to ensure the foster animal with not escape. Warn entrants of the presence of the animal or (preferably) by securing the animal in a crate or separate room.
  • For dogs and cats, immediately remove any ID tags upon receipt of the animal and replace them with the Ahimsa House tag (please call 404-496-4038 if you need a replacement tag to be mailed to you). When the animal leaves your care, remove the Ahimsa House tag and keep it for use on your next foster animals.
  • For dogs and cats, keep the animal’s collar and Ahimsa House ID tag on at all times. If a collar or tag becomes damaged or lost, contact 404-496-4038 for a replacement.
  • Ahimsa House cats must have a collar with a safety breakaway feature.
  • Retain any of the client’s property sent with the foster animal (toys, and/or animal’s original ID tags) and return it when the animal leaves your care.
  • Ahimsa House will provide you with food, preventative medication and other basic supplies for care of the foster animals, if you need additional supplies, please contact 404-496-4038.
  • Keeping in mind the chaotic situations from which many Ahimsa House animals have come, strive to maintain a calm and stress-free environment for the foster animal.
  • Make reasonable efforts to stay in regular contact with Ahimsa House about the animals in your care.
  • If you are planning to go out of town while you have a foster animal, provide as much notice as possible to allow Ahimsa House time to arrange an alternate foster placement or boarding. In order to minimize disruption of the animal, Ahimsa House may elect to keep the animal in the alternate living arrangement even after you return.
  • In accordance with Chapter 40-13-13 of the Rules of the Animal Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Agriculture,  you must maintain a fire extinguisher in your home at all times. It is also recommended that you have a smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm, both for your safety and the safety of the foster animals in your care.
  • Based on new requirements from the Georgia Department of Agriculture, you must undergo an initial and bi-annual foster home inspection by an Ahimsa House representative and/or the Georgia Department of Agriculture representative.
  • All foster animals must be returned to Ahimsa House upon request.
  • If you become unable to fulfill any of the above requirements, please notify an Ahimsa House representative immediately.