Are YOU That Special Person Who Can Foster For The RSPCA?
Are you that special person who can provide a short-term, loving home for an animal that:
is struggling to adapt to life in the animal centre, or
has some additional veterinary needs best treated in a home environment, or
is a new mother needing to bond with her young family?
If you can answer “Yes” to any of the above then you are just the person we are seeking.
What Does A Foster Carer Do?
Foster carers provide temporary accommodation and care for an RSPCA animal in their home for anything from a few days to a few months before the animal is ready to be rehomed to a more permanent home.
Living with a foster family helps an animal, which has often had a difficult start in life, learn that living at home in a nurturing, loving, and comfortable environment can provide the safety and security they seek whilst also re-establishing a strong positive bond with humans.
By providing one-to-one care for animals, helping them build up their confidence and become used to a more normal home and lifestyle than they may have previously experienced, the foster carer is not only making a huge contribution to an animal’s rehabilitation but also helping free up space at the centre which can then be used to help even more animals needing that second chance in life.
What Skills And Experience Are Needed?
Above all you need a genuine love of animals and the ability to provide for their needs.
You must be over 18 and ideally have had previous experience of caring for the species of animal you wish to foster.
You will need to have access to an enclosed, secure outdoor area for dogs (e.g. a walled yard or fenced garden), or a quiet indoor area for nervous cats.
Ideally you will be able to drive, have access to a vehicle and live within an hour’s drive of the Branch animal centre just outside Accrington.
But most importantly you will have the time to spend with the animals to play, interact, and give, as well as receive, plenty of cuddles.
How Much Does It Cost?
Nothing. All food and vet bills will be paid for by the RSPCA and we will provide you with a “starter kit” containing all the equipment you will need (e.g. bed, toys and even treats) appropriate for the animal you are fostering.
What Support and Training Does the RSPCA Provide?
We will help and support you throughout your fostering journey and our fostering co-ordinator together with members of our animal care team will be there to provide advice and guidance when it is needed.
We provide all the equipment you will require and full training will be provided in techniques that are consistent with RSPCA policies and guidelines.
There is a little bit of paperwork that needs to be completed to help provide vital information on the animal’s behaviour and needs so that we can find a perfect match when looking for its forever family, but this is not difficult and primarily includes simple records such as an animal’s out of kennel activities and daily observations about its health and behaviour..
In addition to meeting the cost of vet bills you will not be expected to make a decision regarding an animal’s treatment as this is something for the RSPCA as the “owners” of the animal, although your views as the temporary carer for the animal will be invaluable.
Want to Make A Difference?
As a foster carer you will know that you have played a key part in helping a rescued animal. You'll get to meet and care for animals with unique personalities and see them blossom before moving on to their new, forever home.
If you feel you have the skills, experience and can provide a suitable safe, secure and loving environment in which to foster an animal and would like to be considered as a foster carer please download an application from by clicking on the relevant form below and return it completed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adopters are incredible people, they are our life blood. But fosterers, they are like gold dust, they are an essential part of our team.
Dog fostering application form
Cat fostering application form
I suppose I am what is known as a failed foster carer because I adopted two of the animals I initially fostered. I fell in love with Banksy from the first moment I met her.
I was asked to foster her because she had just had a litter of puppies and needed extra support feeding them all, so I agreed to foster her and the babies to do the midnight feeds.
Once the puppies were old enough & had found loving forever homes, it was time for Banksy to find her forever home as well. She and I had been through so much together I couldn't give her, or one of her babies up.
They have been with us now for the last 18 months and I wouldn't change a thing. So I am not really a failed fosterer, , more a successful foster and adopter: I started with five and gave back three. I don't think that is a bad return.
Thank you for reading our story from Debbie Banksy & Buddy. X
I decided to become a foster when sweet little Tinkerbell, an old little pug that spent most of her life locked in a bathroom, entered the centre.
It was winter, the nights were colder and she needed warmth and love in her old age. I brought my husband and child to the centre to meet her and the next day I brought her home. During her stay with us "Tinks" was an absolute angel. She loved her home comforts and her little walks.
She shared the home with my cat and other animals and she was great with them too. We shared quite a few special moments together before she finally found her perfect home.
I must admit It was hard to part with her, but when I met her new owner I knew it was the perfect happy ending for her. Tinks gets to have days on the beach and sunny coffee mornings outside her local cafe, not to mention all the love and care she always deserved.
When I saw pictures of how happy she was in her new home it was the best feeling in the world.
Jen, Josh, Thomas and the furries x
My second experience of fostering was with two 7 month old French Bulldogs named Martha and Floyd (a lot younger than Tinks, my first foster dog).
Unfortunately, Floyd had to return to the centre when Martha came into season. But this wasn’t an issue - the beauty of fostering is there are always options, help and advice from the fostering coordinator and animal care team who always consider what is best for both the animals and the foster carers.
We carried on fostering Martha. As a family we fell in love with Martha and we watched her blossom into a lovely little dog. She was great around my 3 year old and she was soon toilet trained and able to be left for periods of time.
It was a great experience fostering a young dog as you do really make an impact on their first few months with socialising and training.
It was so difficult to see Martha leave, but we reminded ourselves the reason we foster is because it works best for us as a family. Martha went to a beautiful family and the children adore her. The family commented on what a well behaved dog she was and I felt so happy to hear that as we had worked hard with her training. The feeling of loss when she left was counteracted by the feeling of joy of seeing her happy and loved in her new home.
It goes without saying you will fall in love with your foster doggie but you will also fall in love with the feeling you get every time you see them go to their new home.
Jen, Josh, Thomas and the furries x
I fostered Lassie when the centre was having a new roof installed.
She benefited from being in a home environment and soon wormed her
way into our hearts.
Once she realised she could trust you she became so loving &
affectionate and a little shadow wherever we went.
The team at the centre found the best forever home for her. There were a
few tears when the time came for her to go to her forever home, but she is
so happy now, it’s what makes it all worthwhile
Rita and Mark X.
Marta's story: Marta had been kept in a cage all her life so she didn't know what the outside world was like, she was afraid of everything, she wasn't a house trained. It took time, patience and understanding before she became more confident.
Initially I thought she would be happy in a home where she could sit on someone's lap all day as that is all she seemed to want to do. As time went on you could see her confidence grow she would do things you would expect a puppy to do.
Marta stayed with us for quite a few months as we were in lockdown and she had confidence issues.
Eventually the perfect home was found for her with a couple, she is now living her best life.
All the dogs you foster have a place in your heart and they will take a bit of your heart with them when it's time to hand them back, but it is all worthwhile when you see they are happy in their forever home and you can look back and think I helped do that.
Rita and Markx
I have had dogs most of my life and when my last dog passed away I felt I had come to a stage in my life when I felt I wanted the company and companionship of another dog, but I wasn't in a position to take on a dog full.
I was made aware of Briony who was struggling in kennels so I decided to go down the fostering route in order to help her.
Briony was one of the first dogs I fostered. Her much loved owner had passed away, she was grieving and this is why she was struggling in kennels.
She settled in really well. We didn't have her for very long before she found her forever home with a lovely couple
Rita and Mark X