201 723 8842

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Become a Happy Tails Foster Care Volunteer


If you live in the Bergen County area and are thinking about fostering, please review this information before you proceed.


Foster Parents provide temporary care for kittens, puppies, cats and dogs in their own homes until the pet is placed in their permanent home. Some animals only need a home for two weeks, others may need three months. By offering your time, energy, and home to an animal in need, you prepare the animal for adoption into a permanent, loving home. Happy Tails is always looking for foster homes. The more foster parents we have, the more lives we will be able to save.

Happy Tails provides veterinary care and medicine for foster animals and lots of support to foster care volunteers. Foster care volunteers provide time, shelter, and lots of love.


How foster care works


Happy Tails receives an animal directly or from a shelter. Foster homes are contacted. If you are called to foster an animal and cannot do it for any reason, we will find another foster home and call you the next time. It's always okay to say you are not available.


The animal goes to the foster home until it is ready for adoption. You will need to make the pet available to meet with families interested in adopting. Once a permanent home is established, you return the pet to Happy Tails or the proud new owners. You may be asked to do a home check to make sure the home is as described by the potential adopters.


If you have any questions, please contact us at info@happytailsrescuenj.com. You can contact Noreen directly at 201-723-8842.


Common Questions About Foster Care


How much will it cost me to foster a pet?

Actually, there is no cost other than providing food and shelter to your foster pet. Happy Tails can help by providing most of the supplies that you need to foster your pet. We simply ask that you open your home and provide the love and attention your foster pet will need. However, since Happy Tails is a non-profit organization run solely by private donation, anything you provide is an additional donation to the animals.


Do I get to pick my own foster pet?

Of course you do! While we may have specific animals that we are trying to find foster care for, you make the final decision. A Happy Tails representative will interview you to determine what your lifestyle and home situation is and help you choose the right foster pet for your home.


I have my own pets, what about diseases?

Every animal brought into Happy Tails' care is examined by a veterinarian. Dogs are tested for heartworm and placed on heartworm preventative. Cats are tested for feline leukemia and feline AIDS. All animals receive complete vaccinations including rabies. If the animal has not yet been altered and is old enough, that will be arranged, too. If any additional medical attention is required for your foster pet, Happy Tails will arrange a vet visit. Happy Tails practices and encourages foster homes to follow quarantine guidelines to ensure the health of a new foster pet.


What if it doesn't work out?

As with our adopted animals, if a situation does not work out, we will gladly take our animal back and arrange for different foster care. And no need to worry about your foster pet if it doesn't work out Happy Tails does not euthanize our animals.


Will you forget about me and I'll be stuck with the animal?

Never! We actively maintain 2 websites www.htar.petfinder.org and www.happytailsrescuenj where pictures and descriptions of the animals are posted. We also request that you make your foster pet readily available for potential adopters to meet. We provide enough adoption events to enable adopters to meet our animals and hope that you can attend some of these events or provide transportation for the animal. Also, when your foster pet is adopted, we hope that it would have been such a rewarding experience that you would want to take on a new foster pet. This saves another animal's life - and that is what we are all about.


Won't it be too hard to give up my foster pet?

Sometimes! We all get attached to our foster animals. And fostering does involve some sacrifice. But that is also part of what makes fostering so special. There is sadness and usually some tears when your foster pet leaves but there is also an immense feeling of satisfaction that you have been a major part in saving an animal's life. It is especially rewarding to hear the new home call back and talk about the most wonderful pet in the entire world and know that it was your love and care that helped to make that pet such a special animal. At that point your job has been done and, somewhere, a new pet needs you.


What if I find I just can't give my foster pet up?

That's okay, too! It is not uncommon for foster parents to wind up with what we lovingly call "souvenirs". At that point, an adoption contract would be signed and "foster pet" will officially become "pet".