The Humane Society of Harford County (HSHC) receives approximately 3,500 pets each calendar year. Unfortunately, we have the dilemma of too many pets and not enough space. One very important program that helps to significantly increase pet adoptions and save lives is our foster care program.

Foster families provide a temporary home (usually 3-4 weeks) for pets who are sick, injured, not socialized, too young to be adopted; or if space becomes an issue here at the shelter. As a foster parent, you provide the tender, loving care and the Humane Society will provide for the pets’ medical needs. When the pet is healthy enough to be adopted, or space is available, you bring the pet back to the shelter to be placed up for adoption. This is one of our most rewarding programs. Foster homes for older dogs, cats, puppies and kittens are especially needed.

In addition, some of the expenses of fostering a pet for the Humane Society of Harford County can be deducted as services rendered, because we are an IRS-approved 501(c)(3) organization. Things like pet food and supplies, and even the paper towels you may need to clean up after your foster-furball may qualify as expenses for fostering a pet. You can even deduct cents per mile for trips made solely for the shelter; your tax professional can let you know the current mileage deduction rate. Just like any other deduction, you just need documents to support the expenses. So keep your receipts and canceled checks. Also, keep track of and notate any expense that is not obvious. Of course, it is best to talk to your tax professional to see exactly which of your foster expenses are tax deductible.

Individuals interested in becoming a foster parent must fill out an application. When our Foster Care Coordinator receives your application, she will review it and once she approves your application, she will contact you via email.

Foster Care Application

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • As a foster parent, you will be required to supervise your foster dog(s), either keeping it on a leash, enclosed within a fence that is adequate for the animal, or in your home at all times. Foster cats must be kept indoors at all times. As a foster parent, you may have an animal in your care for a short period of time (1 week) or an extended stay (as many as 3 months or more). This will frequently be determined when you receive an animal to be fostered. However, this amount of time is subject to change depending on circumstances at the shelter. If you know that you will be on vacation during the period of time you are being asked to foster, you are obligated to inform the Humane Society as such. This will allow us time to find the most suitable temporary accommodations for your foster pet. At no time should your foster pet be given to the potential adopter until the official adoption contract has been signed AND an exit exam has been performed at the shelter. Additionally, while you are caring for a foster pet, we may call you from time-to-time to check on the animal's progress and address any concerns you may have. By signing this form, you agree to the above statements and certify that the answers provided on this application are true.