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Welcome to AARC/Joplin Humane’s "UNLEASH THEIR HOPE" Foster Program! Our foster care program is designed to get the community involved in saving lives by inviting them to provide temporary care for animals in need. Fostering can open up spaces and cages in the shelter allowing us to help more animals. It also provides an option for animals that are in need of medical treatment that would be difficult to provide in the shelter environment. Pets that are in foster care truly benefit from some "TLC” and get the added benefit of being "marketed” by their foster family to potential adopters!

Why a Foster Program?

We recognized the need for a foster program as we continued to watch our numbers of incoming animals climb while our number of cages clearly remains static! Our goal is to end the euthanasia (putting to sleep) of any animal for space; but we cannot do it alone. We work very hard to find new homes for our animals for adoption and rescue, but the numbers being adopted or rescued never exceed (or even come close to meeting!) the number we receive. Fostering not only saves the life of the animal which is placed in a foster home, but also the one that can take his or her empty cage.

Who needs foster?

"Unleash their Hope" has three distinct categories. Almost any animal in the shelter would benefit from foster care, and we have programs for all of them.

·Happy Hearts is designed for pets that are healthy and adoptable, but just get overlooked. Happy Hearts fosters could be little black puppies, or the awkward, long legged 9 month old shepherd mix, or maybe the tubby tortoiseshell cat that hides in the corner. All of these animals would make wonderful, loving pets, but they just don’t show well in the shelter next to cute fluffy speckled puppies or fuzzy, playful kittens.

·Heal their Hurts is for pets with medically treatable conditions that would benefit from some TLC in the comfort of a home, or may need some help with socialization or training. The shelter sees many pets that would be highly adoptable, if they could just have a few weeks to recover from common ailments, like kennel cough or puppy mange. Sometime we have a dog that is recuperating from a surgery, or a litter of kittens who just aren’t quite sure if they can really trust people. These are great candidates for foster. We will provide the medications prescribed by our veterinarian, and any training tips you need…you just add the love…and the TIME they need to heal!

·Almost Home Foster animals are pets that have been ‘tagged” or chosen by a rescue group. They have a place to go, but are just waiting on their transport. These pets may just need a few days or a week, but by leaving the shelter, they open up their cage so we can help another animal.


I think I want to help!

Are you ready to foster?We want to make fostering an easy, fun thing for everyone. Nothing is more rewarding that watching the sad, scared or sick pet your brought home blossom into a beautiful, happy, healthy animal full of personality and a zest for the new life that lies ahead. Saying goodbye when the time comes can be hard; but once the tears are done….you will realize that you can now help another homeless pet in need. It takes a special person to open their heart to a foster pet, but for those who take the leap; their lives will never be the same!

We will provide you with assistance along the way, tips on behavior modification and training, and all the veterinary care you foster pet needs. Fostering a pet does take time, of course, so we encourage you to be sure you have the time available to give. You must also take your own pets into consideration, and ask yourself if you have the physical space to add one more pet to your home. A Foster Parent needs to be able to provide a safe, stable temporary home for their foster pet; a place where your foster pet can have some quiet time away from children and other pets is a must; as is a safe place to be exercised. Foster parents will need to be able to transport their pet for medical appointments or to meet and greets with potential adopters.


When you have decided that you are ready to foster a pet, the first step is the Foster Pet Parent Application, available here or at the shelter. We encourage you to visit the shelter and talk to our Foster Program Coordinator; he will review you application and find the perfect match for you.We can’t WAIT to meet you!

View/Print our Foster Pet Parent Application here