Foster Care Program

Our program has been established to provide potentially adoptable animals with temporary homes until they’re ready to be placed up for adoption at the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Cold Noses Warm Hearts

Cold Noses Warm Hearts is the Iowa City Animal Center's foster program. This program allows Center animals to spend time in a home before going up for adoption. Animals are placed in foster homes for many reasons: an animal may be in need of socialization, be healing from an injury, and or may still be too young to go up for adoption.

  1. Information for Foster Parents
  2. Become a Foster Parent

Information for Potential Foster Parents

Types of Animals that Need a Foster Home

We need foster homes for both cats and dogs. Our most common foster care situations include the following:

  • Animals in need of socialization
  • Bottle-fed kittens or puppies
  • Illness treatment or surgery recovery care
  • Kittens or puppies too young for adoption
  • A momma cat or dog with a litter of babies too young for adoption
  • Retraining resource guarding in dogs

We also would like to have some back up foster care providers for “other” animals if the need arises, such as rabbits, birds, and livestock.

How Long Would I Foster?

Each foster care placement is different as to the length of time the animal needs to be in foster care. The average foster care stay is between four to six weeks but could range from overnight to twelve weeks.

Foster Responsibilities

We expect the following from our Foster Parents:

  • To feed, socialize, groom, medicate, and keep animal center appointments with foster animals sheltered in your home.
  • To ensure the safety of all foster animals under the foster parent’s care.
  • To isolate foster pets from household pets
  • To ensure that your own pets are current on vaccinations.
  • To observe and report any illnesses or concerns to the Animal Center Staff.
  • To return foster animals to the Animal Center at the end of their time with you.
  • To return foster animals to the Animal Center if you need to leave town or for some reason can no longer care for the foster animals.

Other Considerations

Before fostering, consider the following:

  • Are you able to separate foster animals from your own pets?
  • Are you willing to take responsibility for any damage a foster animal may do to your home? (Puppies and kittens like to climb, play, chew, scratch, and may have potty training accidents.
  • Are you able to spend an acceptable amount of time with your foster animals daily, so that the animals are socialized and exercised properly?
  • Are you willing to do the extra laundry and cleaning that may be required?
  • Are you able to administer medications and flexible enough to bring the foster animals back to the animal center for scheduled vet visits and vaccinations?
  • Do you understand that all adoptable animals must go through the adoption process at the Animal Center and the staff will determine the best adoption placement for the animal?
  • Are you comfortable explaining this to family and friends?
  • Are you emotionally able to let go of animal that have been in your care? Do you understand the fact that occasionally animals in foster care may not survive as they grow and/or recover, and that some animals may have to be euthanized if the staff feels they are not healthy and/or socialized enough to be adoptable?