Foster care program

Each year, the Central Missouri Humane Society receives hundreds of animals that are not yet ready to go up for adoption and relies on foster homes to temporarily take these animals into their care.

Foster homes not only provide the attention and care that the animal(s) need but they also help free up space within the shelter for animals that are ready to be adopted. Please read the Frequently Asked Questions below to see if fostering is something you’d like to get involved with!

*Please note that because of the nature of our shelter, the Foster Care Program is not intended for fostering to adopt.

Foster Application

Short Term Fosters Wanted!

Not quite sure you’re ready to be a full-time foster parent? Or maybe you want to try it out and see how it goes? No problem! Our new short-term and holiday foster program may be for you! This program is intended for shorter foster stays so we can collect valuable information about how our animals do in a home so we can make sure they’re a match for their future adopter! Stays will be anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. Fill out the short-term foster application below.

Short Term Foster Application


  • What are the requirements?Open or Close
    In order to foster you must be at least 18 years old, any current pets must be up to date on vaccinations as well as spay/neutered, and have landlord approval if you rent property. Besides these, you need to fill our the foster application and be approved by our foster/rescue coordinator and then agree and sign our foster contract.
  • What types of animals need fostering?Open or Close
    Types of animals in need of fostering vary: sick pets that need space to recover, stressed or shy animals that need extra TLC to build confidence, or unweaned litters that need to be nurtured until they are big enough to be adopted.
  • What responsibilities should I expect when fostering?Open or Close
    Besides general care, as a foster you are responsible whatever issues/needs the animal currently has. If the pet is on medicine, you’ll need to administer their meds (always given orally). Working on basic training is highly encouraged as it increases their chance for adoption. Lastly, get to know the animal! The more potential adopters know about the pet, the more like they are to adopt!
  • How long will I have a foster pet(s)Open or Close
    On average, fosters have animals in their care for 2-3 weeks but the time frame varies depending on the animals needs.
  • What if I have pets?Open or Close
    A lot of our current foster homes already have pets of their own!  In order to protect both your current pet as well as the foster pet, we make sure your pet is up-to-date on its vaccinations.  We also help you evaluate how the foster pet will fit in with your current family members and make sure it will be a good match.  As far as keeping your pets separated from your foster animals, this is often based on the specific foster(s).  Cats and kittens in foster care that have not been tested for FeLV/FIV need to be kept separate from current cats.  We recommend you try and find an area in your home that is somewhat separate to make the transition of adding a temporary foster into your home easier.
  • Can I choose my foster pet?Open or Close
    You can certainly give a preference as to what fits best into your lifestyle but we try to utilize foster homes for those that really need the extra attention.  We want to make sure you feel comfortable with your foster and enjoy the fostering experience but also want to make sure it’s benefiting all current animals at the shelter.
  • What are the expenses?Open or Close
    Expenses for fostering are minimal to none and only include gas money spent on coming to the shelter for booster shots as well as to meet fully approved and interested adopters.  We provide you with everything you need including medicine and vet care.
  • What if I work or go to school?Open or Close
    Your schedule will be taken into consideration when you apply. Keep in mind, once the animal is adopted, they will most likely be living with people that have working schedules as well. As for students, sometimes they make the best fosters. Many students are away from home and miss their family pets but can’t commit to a permanent pet while in school.  We understand that your schedule can vary with school breaks, finals and weekend trips home.  Knowing this, we create a mutually beneficial experience for both students and CMHS residents by understanding college life and the situations that might come up.
  • What about vacation or other activities that interfere with my commitment to fostering?Open or Close
    We understand that vacation and other obligations happen!  Just let the coordinator know your schedule ahead of time if possible and we’ll arrange space for your foster.
  • How do fosters get adopted?Open or Close
    We contact you to come into the shelter only when a potential adopter is fully approved and serious about making that animal a part of their home.  Meet and greets are schduled during times that are convenient to both you and the potential adopter. Remember, fostering a pet is a tremendously rewarding experience that saves lives!  If you have any other questions regarding the Foster care program, please contact our foster coordinators at (573) 443-7387 ext. 210 or [email protected] (cats and small animals) or [email protected] (dogs).