Do you wish you could help give some of Shanghai’s needy companion animals a chance at a better life?
Do you miss having a companion animal to care for?
Are the costs of pet transport (US$500 to US$1000+) too high or quarantine laws in your home country so strict that adopting and repatriating a pet isn’t feasible?
If so, then becoming an SCAA foster parent offers a rewarding opportunity to help those who can’t help themselves.
Most of the fostering information below relates to cats and kittens because SCAA requires dog rescuers to care for their unlicensed rescues due to the strict dog licensing laws and ownership restrictions in Shanghai. SCAA re-homes adoptable dogs from our local project one at a time and we would love to hear from experienced dog lovers able to make the (usually) long time commitment to help us with this rewarding process.
Please read the fostering FAQ below and keep this page as a reference while fostering.
Can I choose which animal I foster?
Not really. SCAA’s main criteria for foster animal intake are an animal’s overall health and good, social temperament (we do not re-home feral or aggressive animals). Personal preferences for a particular size, color, age, breed or gender foster animal cannot be met.
Legitimate fostering limitations due to your work schedule (e.g. inability to bottle-feed abandoned newborns) and current pet ownership or family situation (e.g. having kids and/or pets at risk from contagious diseases) will certainly be respected.
Because rescued stray and abandoned cats and kittens sometimes have treatable but contagious diseases like ringworm (a common fungus contagious to people and pets) or cold viruses (only contagious to other pets), volunteers with kids and/or pets generally wait longer for the opportunity to foster.
What are my foster parent responsibilities?
Aside from giving your foster animal as much attention as possible, foster parents provide:
1. A safe home environment
All foster cats and kittens must remain indoors. Shanghai is a dangerous place, no matter where you live – from lane houses to exclusive villa compounds, there are feral cats spreading diseases, cat catchers (trapping cats for the fur and food industry), poisonings (accidental or deliberate) and traffic hazards.
Keep windows and balcony doors securely closed and advise your housekeeper to do the same.
2. PAW vet care appointments and status updates
Foster parents bring foster animals to SCAA’s (only) vet partner, PAW, for routine care (e.g. first cat vaccination at 9 weeks of age and then second one 3 to 4 weeks after. Cat spay/neuter at approx. 6 months) and any other medical care as needed. SCAA pays medical care costs.
PAW is at 722 Xinhua lu (above the Kaixuan lu underpass). Phone: 5254 0611. Foster parents should keep up-to-date with their foster animal’s care schedule, keep in touch with SCAA about their foster animal’s progress, and should immediately advise SCAA and PAW of any medical or behavioural issues if they arise.
3. Adoption Day & re-homing assistance
Foster parents bring vaccinated and healthy foster animals to regular SCAA Adoption Days to give them the opportunity to meet potential adopters.
Adoption Day is one Sunday afternoon a month (see website Event Calendar). Because adoption days are weeks apart, SCAA may be in touch about arranging adoptions another time if a good match is found for your foster cat.
4. Photos and updates
Photos and a description of personality and habits are often the fist impression our adoptable animals make.
To give our animals the best chance for a permanent home, SCAA needs foster parents to provide good, clear photos as well as updates on your foster animal’s developing personality and habits.
What kind of time commitment do I need to make?
Ideally, a foster animal should remain in the same foster home until he or she is adopted, which can take weeks or months depending on the foster animal’s health and the availability of potential adopters.
However, you can still make a difference in an animal’s life if you are available for a limited time. Providing temporary cover while foster parents travel is a great way to contribute.
Will my foster animal be healthy?
SCAA foster animals receive an initial, international-standard veterinary assessment prior to being placed in a foster home. SCAA and our vet partner, PAW, do our best to provide an accurate picture of an animal’s health and temperament, but as we are helping abandoned animals with an unknown medical history, we cannot offer any guarantees.
Although many SCAA foster cats and kittens require only minor treatment for fleas, mites and worms, some animals require short-term treatment, ranging from antibiotics for minor colds to applying cream and shampoo for a common skin fungus. Some animals that initially presented as healthy may later fall ill.
What do I need to prepare?
SCAA provides pet carriers to foster parents. Cat and kitten foster parents will need to purchase:
1. age appropriate pet food (wet and dry)
2. a litter box, scoop and litter
3. a scratching post (training appropriate scratching behavior at an early age has its obvious advantages)
Supplies are available online through SCAA sponsor, www.vip-Pet.com (please ask SCAA about a foster parent discount), or at PAW and other recommended veterinary clinics (see veterinarian services page) and most large supermarkets.
Please do not shop at pet markets and at pet stores that sell animals. Any financial support you give fuels the inhumane breeding and sale of companion animals.
What happens if I travel?
SCAA will ask other foster parents to temporarily provide cover while you are away. Not surprisingly, the most difficult times of the year to accommodate re-homing requests are during holidays - Chinese New Year, October National Day, Christmas and summer holidays. The more advance notice we have of travel plans, the better.
As there can be anywhere from 20 to 40 foster cats and kittens in care at any one time, asking a trusted animal-lover you know to help care for your foster cat when you travel for a short period would relieve SCAA from searching for temporary foster homes for more animals than absolutely necessary.
If foster parents can help arrange for temporary fostering cover: (i) foster parents provide SCAA and PAW contact details to the temporary foster parents (ii) foster parents provide SCAA with the temporary foster parents’ full contact details (iii) foster parents and SCAA ensure that temporary foster parents are aware of the Foster Parent Program FAQ.
We’d love to hear from you – please send us a completed Foster Parent Intake Sheet.
For more information on fostering cats and kittens, please email Lee-Anne Armstrong at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about fostering a local project dog, please email Jaycee Chan at email@example.com