Imagine if MAS had a Real Foster Program

If Memphis Animal Services had a true foster program, they could have residents from Shelby Co provide temporary care for orphaned puppies and kittens (among many other shelter pets) and ultimately MAS could adopt them out when the pets were ready.  Foster programs save pets’ lives and strengthen the shelter’s relationship with the community.  Many people are unable to commit to a lifetime of care for an additional pet but are very happy to provide temporary care, with veterinary expenses covered by the shelter, for a shelter pet in need.  As things stand, MAS has a faux-ster program where applicants are subjected to criminal background checks,  “investigative reports”, and credit checks; must pay for vet care on their own; and sign a paper agreeing that the shelter might decide to kill the pets after they return them to MAS.

I’ll put the blog on pause while you all run to sign up.

Oh – everyone still here?  For anyone wanting to see what a real foster program looks like, check out how a successful program works in no kill Washoe Co, NV.  Compare that to MAS where, instead of fostering out litters of kittens, they pile them into a litterbox…

…and carry them to the kill room.

Memphis, please – stop the killing.

20 thoughts on “Imagine if MAS had a Real Foster Program

  1. Um, if this is their foster care provider application, what does their adoption application look like? On second thought, I just don’t want to know.

    1. Excuse me? Half the staff at MAS wouldn’t qualify to care for the animals based on the criminal back round check alone!!!! Bye the way, if they would screen the staff as well they do the volunteers they would have much better care taken of the animals. Now, MAS, that is calling the kettle black! You have no room to make any judgements.

    2. Gotta love the height and weight question on the “application” though: “In order to match you with a foster animal who looks most like you, please provide your height and weight.”
      I used to be annoyed at people who would say, “It’s easier to adopt a child than to adopt an animal.” But now that I see that MAS simply took the local DSS or DCFS foster care appplication and adapted it for animal use, I see their point…

  2. Do they even have a adoption application? The fact that the animal can be put to sleep upon return is exactly why if I ever “fostered” I would just adopt the animal, make it healthy, and find my own home for it.

  3. What are the most important criteria to qualify a foster? I see on the NHS application it asks about a history of Parvo or FIV in the home. I would think a criminal background check would be in the best interest of the animal being placed or do you take someone at their word. I don’t agree with the foster paying vet costs, “investigative reports” – not sure why that was in quotes, or credit checks.
    A friend of mine fostered for a local group and it looks like it will be permanent. What started out as a “couple of weeks” favor has turned into a stay of over a year.

    1. I think it’s a good idea to see if the person is in the animal abuse database but as for finding out if they’ve written bad checks, shoplifted, or whatever else – not so much. Investigative reports was in quotes because it was a quote from the application.

      1. The very best assistance dog-in-training puppies come from prison-based foster programs. Now, granted, inmates have a lot more supervision than convicts living in the community, but I don’t think that conviction for non-violent and non-animal crimes should necessarily disqualify a potential fosterer. Since MAS reserves the right to kill any animal at any time for any (or no) reason, I don’t have qualms about placing an animal with an embezzler. An animal probably has a better chance of remaining alive with the convict than at MAS.

      2. Susan, you took the words out of my mouth. I was going to say something similar to that for a post but you said it much better. :)

  4. A friend of mine went to MAS last weekend. She said that she fell in love with a 2 month old pit/mix puppy – it had just come into the adoption area. She wanted to “foster” it – she filled out an application (don’t know what it looked like) and was told since it’s part “pit,” she would have to have a “fence/yard check.” Apparently they SUPPOSEDLY do that if you get a pit from MAS. However, she lives in MS – which is out the ACO’s jurisdiction….so, she told me that she was told to contact someone from a MS shelter to have them come check out her yard, etc…WTH?! Hey, let’s make it as difficult as possible! And she hasn’t been able to get anyone to her house – and the poor little puppy is still sitting at MAS – wonder if it will contract a URI and get put down b/f the “fence check” happens….

    1. I (sort of) fostered a dog who was “part pit”. I have a fence. She climbed over it, every chance she got. I guess I should have just killed her but you know, I’m such a softy… I had her spayed/vax/HW tested then took her to a no kill shelter who had been kind enough to take her puppies.

    2. I wonder what would have happened if your friend had simply adopted the puppy. I hope that things work out for them.

      1. I was told that MAS does “fence/yard checks” first for any pit adoptions, too….

  5. Interesting. When I picked up the momma and kittens on Saturday to foster, I did not have to fill that out.. they just got my name, address and phone number and email address to contact me. Nothing else. Maybe they are hoping I wont bring them back (which I likely won’t, I have already found homes for three when they are ready, so two more kittens and mama to go..) Although I think the volunteers were so desperate to get these animals to safety that they were bypassing some protocols and waiving adoption fees for these kittens who were too young to be fixed.
    I do have to say the volunteers I talked to were super nice, friendly and grateful for the help being given by we irresponsible members of the public who came out to help these animals.

    1. They probably didn’t have you fill it out because you aren’t really fostering them. In essence, they just gave you a boatload of work and expenses and said “Don’t bring them back”.

      1. LOL. I am having fun with them though, kittens are so entertaining! They have, however, had a field day trashing my bathroom where I have them separated from my dogs. Oy!

  6. 8 years ago I fostered a mama and litter of five little girls. Three of those kittens still live with me. Guess I’m a failure as a foster! The last mama I had showed up at my house, walked in one early summer day and stayed. In August she had 5 kittens. Mama #2 and all five found wonderful homes.
    Love, love, love kittens – even with all of the kitten stuff they do.

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