Foster Care Program

Each year, the Central Missouri Humane Society receives hundreds of animals that are not yet ready to go up for adoption when they first enter our doors.  In order to give the sick, scared, stressed, and young animals a chance to find forever homes, we rely 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 ready for adoption, ultimately saving lives!  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.

Filling out an application is required prior to becoming a CMHS foster homeDownload Foster Care Application

For more information on our foster care program, please e-mail our foster/rescue coordinator at or our assistant foster coordinator at or give them a call at 573-443-7387 x 205.  They will give you all of the information you need to being the foster parent of one of our many furry friends!

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the requirements?

- be at least 18 years old

-have filled out a Foster Application and be approved by our Foster/rescue Coordinator

-have agreed and signed our Foster Care Contract

-current pets up-to-date on appropriate vaccinations as well as spayed/neutered

-have verification from landlord if renting a property

What types of pets need foster care?

Types of animals in need of fostering vary.  They could be sick with Kennel Cough or Upper Respiratory Infection and need a space to recover more quickly.  When litters of unweaned puppies and kittens come in that aren’t old enough to be adopted, fosters provided that needed space to grow up just a bit more before being put up for adoption.  Foster pets could also be that really shy or stressed dog/cat that needs some TLC to build confidence and become a loving companion. 

What responsibilities should I expect while fostering?

While a foster animal is in your home, there will be multiple duties beyond general care that you’ll be responsible for.  If the animal is on medicine, you’ll need to be comfortable giving daily meds.  These meds are given orally or topically, needles are never used.  Working on basic obedience, leash walking, crate training and litter box training is highly encouraged as it increases the adoptability of the foster pet.  Lastly, get to know animal!  The more potential adopters know about an animal, the more likely they are to make it a permanent pet!

How long will I have a foster pet(s)?

On average, fosters have animals in their care for 2-3 weeks but vary based on the animal’s need for foster.

What is I already have pets of my own?

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 who I foster?

You can certainly give a preference as to what fits best into your lifestyle but we try to utilze 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?

Expenses for fostering are minimal to none and only include gas money spent on coming to the shelter for boosters as well as to meet fully approved and interested adopters.  We provide you with everything you could possibly need including medicine and vet care.

What if I work?

We understand our fosters have schedules that need to be accommadated and take that into consideration when choosing a foster.  Keep in mind, once the animal is adopted, they will most likely be living with people that have working schedules as well.

What if I’m a student?

CMHS considers ourselves to have a great partnership with students.  We know a lot of individuals are away from home and miss their family pets but can’t commit to a permanent pet while in school.  We also understand 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?

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?

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 Jenny at (573) 443-7387 ext. 205 or