Foster Care – Frequently Asked Questions

Want to know more information about fostering with Animal Welfare League NSW? Here are some commonly asked questions for the AWL NSW Kemps Creek shelter foster care program. Please contact your local AWL NSW volunteer branch if our Kemps Creek shelter is not the closest AWL NSW location to you.

How long on average will an animal require foster care?

It varies based on the type of animal you’re fostering, the reason for foster care and how long it takes for the animal to be adopted. Kittens will generally stay in foster care for 2-8 weeks (until they reach 1kg), medium-large dogs and cats usually stay in foster care for about 1-2 months. We encourage our foster carers to promote their foster animals for adoption so they get adopted quicker.

Can I request to foster puppies or small dogs?

We get a limited number of puppies and small dogs that come through our care, who tend to get adopted quickly, whereas medium-large dogs often stay in our care for longer. Our larger four-legged friends are the ones who really need support, so we ask you please consider giving them a chance to surprise you! Big dog doesn’t always mean high energy, lead pulling or that they won’t be happy in an apartment. Just more pup to cuddle!

Please note that we do not keep a list of people specifically wanting to foster or adopt puppies or small dogs. However, if you’re looking for some tiny furry friends, why not try fostering one of the many litters of kittens that come through our doors?

I live in an apartment and want to foster a dog but I feel bad as there isn’t much space to run around.

Many of our dog foster carers live in an apartment and most medium-large dogs can happily live in an apartment as long as their needs are being met. In fact, some of our gentle bigger dogs may require less exercise than a small, spritely dog!

What if it doesn’t work out, can I bring the animal back to the shelter?

We will always have a spot at the shelter for any foster animal which can come back for any reason. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out or the animal isn’t suitable. When the animal is returned, it is helpful for us to know why so we can place the animal in another more suitable foster home in the future.

What if I am going away, what happens to the foster animal if it’s still in my care?

This depends on how long you’re going away and if you want to take the animal with you (dependant on type of animal) and if you had someone to look after the animal whilst you’re away. It’s a case-by-case situation and must be approved by the AWL NSW Foster Care Officer. The foster animal can always come back to the shelter where needed.

What happens if I want to adopt (keep) my foster animal?

In most situations, this is fine with us – check with the AWL NSW Foster Care Officer if/when this situation arises. Remember though, if you adopt the animal, you may not be able to foster again in the future (eg. if you adopt a cat who isn’t a fan of other animals).

Do you have a question that hasn’t been answered? Email fostercare@awlnsw.com.au and include your contact number so our staff can get in touch.

We are happy to assist all foster carers and guide you through the entire foster process!

To start your foster care application, please select your location below: