Wayside Waifs

Foster Care Program

Give Love a Chance

foster a pet todayEach year Wayside Waifs receives hundreds of animals that are not ready for adoption when they enter the shelter. We care for animals that are injured or sick, moms with litters, single babies who are too young, need training or behavior modification, or who just need some time out of the shelter to feel good again. That is where the real heroes, our volunteer foster families, take over and give these deserving animals the opportunity for real hope and the chance to find permanent families of their own. Not ready to be a foster parent? Consider collecting items from our wish list to help care for these animals!

Please note the Foster Care Program is only for animals in Wayside Waifs' care. At this time we do not place animals that are owned by members of the public.

Complete an application today and begin to feel the immediate fulfillment that comes with being a true hero for the animals! Contact Tyler Petty by email or at 816-986-4429 to learn more about this life-saving program.


How long will I have a foster animal(s) in my home?

The average amount of time is 2-4 weeks, and is based upon the animal’s need for foster. The foster parent is always given a projected time line for each individual animal before accepting a placement.

What if I already have pets of my own?

Most of our foster parents do already have pets of their own. We will help you evaluate your ability to care for foster animals in conjunction with your own pets.

Do I need to keep my pets separated from my foster animals?

There are pros and cons to this question, so we recommend that you provide an area in your home that can be completely separate, and easily cleaned. Each situation is unique, so we will evaluate this based upon the home structure and the individual foster animals. Ultimately, it comes down to the best interest of all of the animals involved. For their protection, all personal pets of foster parents must be current on vaccinations.

Can I choose what type of animal that I want to foster?

Absolutely! Our goal is to compatibly match you with an animal that you feel comfortable with and enjoy. It does not benefit you or the animal if you feel overwhelmed. We will contact you only when that type of animal is available. You can always let the coordinator know if you want to try something different!

How many animals can I foster at one time?

This is usually determined by the coordinator, based on the animal’s best interests, your experience and housing structure, and local Animal Control limitation laws.

What if I need to go out of town, or have an event that interferes with my ability to foster?

Life happens to all of us, just let the coordinator know. We often will transfer animals among different homes to help each other, and the animals!

What if I work?

Many of the animals that need fostering can easily be accommodated on a normal schedule. It is a factor we consider when looking at compatibility. Most animals, once adopted, will reside with people that have working schedules, and becoming accustomed to these routines in a foster home can make that animal much more adoptable.

What kind of costs will I incur?

The financial cost to foster an animal through our program is minimal, usually your own transportation costs. We provide all of the supplies through our generous donations, and all medical care is provided through our Vet Clinic.

How do my foster animals get adopted?

We currently have three different modes of adoption, and we select the type based upon the animal and the situation. We recognize and appreciate the attachment that foster families form with their foster animals, and encourage the foster families to participate in the adoption process at their discretion. We will also always report back to you when your animal is adopted!

Get Started

Step 1: Apply Online.

Step 2: Attend a Foster class. They are held on the fourth Saturday of every month.

Step 3: Start your foster parent adventure!

At the foster class, you will learn how the foster program works, what animals are sent to foster, how you are notified about animals that need a foster home, and who to contact when you have an animal. We are always in need of foster families. Thank you for considering this amazing volunteer opportunity!