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Foster Resources


Providing foster care is a wonderful and personal way to contribute to saving homeless dogs and cats. In opening your heart and home to a companion animal in need you are not only saving the life of that animal - but also the life of the animal waiting to take his or her place in the shelter. 

So here's what you need to know to be a successful foster parent:

Scheduling Spay/Neuter Surgeries for your Foster

The shelter keeps a full schedule of spay/neuter surgeries so it is important to make an appointment for your foster pet(s) right away. 


  • Puppies & Kittens - if healthy, can be altered at 3-4 months of age. Kittens must be a minimum of 2 pounds and puppies 3 pounds.

  • Adult Dogs & Cats - if healthy, can be altered immediately

Email to schedule or change a spay/neuter appointment.

Sick Foster Clinic Hours

Our onsite vets can help your sick foster dog or cat. 

Please make sure you bring your kennel card or have your pets' animal ID# handy.   


* Please do not bring healthy pets for vaccinations on these days. Sick clinic is reserved for recently adopted pets (within 10 days of adoption) and pets in foster care. 

Get Additional Vet Care From Operation Pets Alive

Operation Pets Alive (OPA) is a non-profit organization that works with MCAS to fund outside vet visits as needed.


If after visiting the shelter vet, your foster pet is still in need of medical care, it may be possible to get additional vet care from an outside vet. Here's how to seek approved for additional vet care:


  • Seek approval only after you have visited a shelter vet and he or she has either determined the animal needs care outside of his or her scope.

  • The MCAS Foster Coordinator MUST approve any off-site vet appointments prior to your visit.

  • To initiate a request, email with your animal ID# and a brief description of the problem. You will need to include information about the pet’s symptoms, when symptoms began, a list of any medications the pet may currently be taking, and if the pet is still eating and drinking. Please keep in mind that approval for outside vet care will be determined by the severity of the illness. Requests made because a foster parent is unable to attend sick clinic due to personal schedules will NOT be approved.  


CAN I JUST PAY FOR VET CARE MYSELF?: Yes, if you are paying for the vet care, you are free to visit your own vet. Please note this requires prior approval from the Foster Coordinator. 

Cat & Kitten Fosters - Special Info Just for You

Visit the MCAS cat fostering page for detailed and step-by-step information on fostering:


  • Mother cats with nursing kittens

  • Kittens under 12 weeks old

  • Sick cats and kittens

  • Injured cats and kittens

  • Senior cats

  • Cats and kittens with special needs

Common Dog & Cat Illnesses to Look Out For

Empower yourself so you know what to look for. Early detection and treatment can be the key to saving a sick pet's life.     

Common Shelter Illnesses

  • Canine Parvovirus (Dogs)  - a highly contagious viral illness that affects dogs. It can be deadly.

  • Canine Distemper (Dogs)  - a contagious and serious viral illness with no known cure. It can be deadly. 

  • Intestinal Worms (Dogs & Cats) - roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and whipworms.

  • Mange (Dogs & Cats) - an inflammatory disease in dogs caused by various types of the Demodex mite.  

  • Ringworm (Dogs & Cats) - a type of fungal infection that most commonly affects the skin, fur and nails of cats, particularly kittens, and less frequently dogs and other species

  • Heartworms (Dogs & Cats) - transmitted via mosquito bites, this disease is deadly if not treated and can affect dogs and cats. Monthly heartworm prevention is a must. 

  • Kennel Cough (Dogs) - a very highly contagious respiratory disease among dogs.

  • Upper Respiratory Infection (Cats) - an upper respiratory infection in a cat is more like influenza in people than like a cold because it can be very difficult to get rid of without medical help, especially in the young, the old, and those with chronic health problems. In some cases, it can prove fatal.

Please refer to the Foster Handbook or the Foster Coordinator for additional information. 

Tips for making the MCAS facebook page work for YOU!

Our MCAS facebook page receives hundreds of comments a week - and one of those comments could be a potential adopter asking about YOUR foster! 

Social media works and we've seen MANY adoptions result from our facebook page. 

ADDITIONALLY, make sure to share comments often about the status of your foster, his or her personality and more! AND, when you foster has been adopted, comment so we know to move your foster into our ADOPTED album.

Click here for an example of a typical pet posting.

Foster Testimonials "Facebook works!"
"It has been an invaluable tool for me. A foster I had for 18 months was recently adopted all because the family saw her picture on MCAS facebook page. I've had her advertised in several papers and never got a hit." 
- Carol DeWitt
"Bethany, my three-legged foster, was adopted when he family saw her on the MCAS facebook page - they instantly wanted to meet her. They had a three-legged cat at home. Seemed like a perfect fit!" 
- Nancy Hicks
"It has worked wonders! Our pictures are top notch and pictures are worth a 1000 words! I got most of Lady's 13 puppies adopted through facebook, all the 'Powder Puff Girls' and 'The Snow Patrol!' That's 23 puppies that didn't have to attend offsites." 
- Karen O'Brien

Pet Photo & Biography Submissions

Marketing your foster pet online        

The shelter intake photo is about as flattering as a police mugshot! Replace that photo with a more flattering "glamour shot!"  Those photos go EVERYWHERE (our shelter database feeds into sites like,, and more!) so it is important to get your foster's BEST photo out there! Some of our photography volunteers can assist you if you need it, too! 
Getting the foster photos out there to facebook and other websites are key to getting exposure! Make sure you take a great bio picture and write up a few key things that will make your foster stand out. 

Get your Foster's Photo on facebook and the Shelter Database
The facebook admin team will add your foster to our facebook adoptable albums and shelter database. 

Email image, bio and ID#:

Offsite Adoption Events

The key to getting your foster adopted is exposure  

There are usually many offsites at different locations such as Petsmart, Petco and more. Throughout the year there are special events and locations for offsites also. 
Key Links for Offsite Events

  • MCAS Event Calendar - The calendar features all of the offsite events available to you as well as the coordinator's contact information. You must sign up in advance with each foster coordinator ( space is always limited. 

  • MCAS facebook Events - Every event will have its own facebook Event page. You are strongly encouraged to post pictures of the fosters you will be bringing. These pages are viewable to the public and serve as a nice way of drumming up interest in advance. 


Offsite Health Requirements   

Please note that offsite health requirements can differ per individual locations. Confirm with the Foster Coordinator to be sure your foster pet meets the particular guidelines. The following will be required at most events: 



  • Free of fleas and other parasites

  • Spayed/Neutered (or surgery date scheduled)

  • Heartworm test for dogs over 6 months old (can be negative or positive)

  • Up-to-date on shelter-issued vaccinations

  • Rabies vaccine for dogs over 16 weeks old   



  • Free of fleas and other parasites

  • Spayed/Neutered (or surgery date scheduled)

  • Feline Leukemia negative for cats over 6 months old

  • Up-to-date on shelter-issued vaccinations

  • Rabies vaccine for cats over 16 weeks old   

MCAS Online Team & Facebook Admins - Here to Help Your Foster!

MCAS has a dedicated employee manning the Online Inquiry Team email account and an entire network of at-home volunteers in charge of the official MCAS facebook page. These individuals work to make sure that no online inquiry goes unanswered. Questions regarding pets at the shelter and foster pets are asked routinely and these people need your help to respond with accurate and up-to-date information. 

Watch out for emails and/or facebook tags from the Online Team and facebook admins in regards to your foster. Failure to respond to an inquiry could mean a missed opportunity for your foster pet! 

ONLINE TEAM email address:

Facebook Group

Get connected with other foster parents online.  Not only can you connect with other foster parents, you'll also gather important fostering info and updates. 


Does My Foster Have to be Spayed or Neutered to be Adopted? 

Yes. MCAS does not adopt out unaltered pets. Texas State Law, Healthy and Safety Code Chapter 828 Dog and Cat Sterilization requires that adopted pet must be sterilized. 

To schedule or change your foster's spay/neuter surgery email the MCAS staff.

The Adoption Process

Here are the steps once someone is interested in adopting your foster and beyond...


  • Your potential adopter will need to submit to you an adoption application

  • As a foster, you have to right to review all applications submitted to adopt your pet. You may use whichever tools necessary to research potential adopters including, but not limited to:

    • Vet references

    • Landlord checks  

    • Pet "overnights" prior to adoption

  • If your gut is telling you a home is not the right fit, politely decline and keep the search for a home going! 

  • If everything looks good and you are ready to approve the adoption, you are ready to do the following: 

  • Schedule a spay/neuter appointment, if necessary

    • Collect payment: all checks must be made out to "Montgomery County Animal Shelter" or "MCAS".

    • Obtain the final signed adoption agreement. 

Please note: The pet can not go to the new adopter until the animal has been sterilized. 

Handling the Money from Your Adoptions

MCAS is operated by Montgomery County and adoption funds are paid directly to MCAS. Donations that you collect on behalf of the shelter are to be passed along to shelter staff as well. 

Just remember:


  • Adoption Fees: Checks made out to "Montgomery County Animal Shelter" or "MCAS" and turned in at the shelter along with adoption paperwork

  • Donations: Checks made out to "Montgomery County Animal Shelter" or "MCAS" and turned into the shelter

Helpful Contacts

  • Need to schedule or change a spay/neuter appointment? Email the surgery. 

  • Need to get your foster's picture on facebook and/or the shelter database? Email the facebook admin team.  

  • Looking for offsite adoption events to attend? Visit the official MCAS google calendar. 

That's All for Now!

Thank you again for becoming a foster parent! 

Its because of volunteers and fosters like you that brings great success in saving as many animals as possible. MCAS is able to save thousands of lives each year because of our team of dedicated of foster moms and dads.


Keep up the GREAT work! 

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