Fostering is LIFE SAVING! As a life saving animal welfare organization with only so much space in the shelter, we are limited in our ability to care for pets based on available kennels. Your offer of LOVE and a home allows us to expand the care that we are able to provide for homeless pets in need.
Our goal is to have 75% or more of the pets in our custody in loving foster homes within our community! In 2022, we took in over 2700 pets! Please help us reach our goal in 2023 and be a part of the change that the animals in our community deserve. They are truly counting on you to be their voice and to be the difference.
We have many programs that allow you to make a difference for the pets in our community. Check out our Foster Programs by clicking here.
You only need to provide humane housing and LOVE! Our organization does not want our fosters to have to purchase food, bedding, water/food bowls, or any other pets supplies unless the foster wishes to.
Services/supplies to fosters include:
- Resources: behavioral, medical, and general assistance with caring for your foster dog or cat
- Certain supplies like crates, collars, and leashes (as available)
- Care for when you go out of town
- All medical care for the foster animal as deemed appropriate by our Medical Team
- Help with marketing the animal for adoption or placement
Any supplies used can be returned to TLHS to use with other fostered pets upon return of the fostered pet. All medical care including emergencies are provided through our in-house veterinary clinic by our on staff veterinarian, Dr. Aimee Daniel.
We have many foster programs that vary from field trips (brief trips away from the shelter for a couple hours), sleep overs (weekend stays like a mini vacay), or more consistent commitments such as our general foster program and foster to adopt program. Normally, we require a minimum two week commitment up to 30 days depending on the foster family’s ability to commit. Young puppies and kittens are typically adopted very quickly, while adult dogs and cats can take 1-2 months. Please check out “Available Foster Programs” for more specific information about our offered foster programs!
- Provide a safe, clean, caring environment
- Provide food, water, toys/enrichment, and shelter
- Provide exercise and socialization as appropriate
- Monitor any medical and/or behavioral concerns
- Transport to/from any necessary appointments at our Medical Clinic
- Carefully read all documents & carefully follow all instructions that TLHS provides
To review the full description of the foster program information regarding expectations, responsibility, and emergency guidelines, please click here.
Many of our pets are strays or abandoned, we cannot always guarantee the temperament or health of any animals. We do our best to provide our fosters with as much information as possible before they bring the dog into their homes, and then work with our fosters to learn more about the dog as they are in foster. For more information on tips and tricks to help provide structure and training to your foster pet, please click here.
Fosters must live within an hour drive (approximately 40 miles) of the Tupelo Lee Humane Society in Tupelo, MS because medical care is provided at our clinic, adoption events are in the city, and many of our potential adopters live in Lee County, MS. If you live more than an hour away, we encourage you to find and help your local shelter or rescue as there are several others located in northeast MS that may be better suited for your travel needs. We believe that saving lives requires a solid team of individuals and rescues/shelters that network to help each other.
To view a list of rescues and shelters that are members of our coalition that may be in need of fosters, click here.
Yes, you can come to our shelter to pick out a foster animal! We encourage you to do so! We have so many animals at the shelter that could use some foster TLC. Almost all of our shelter pets are eligible to go into a foster home!
In April 2021, TLHS moved to an “On-Deck” Fostering method to recruit fosters, provide resources and training to foster caregivers, and to provide our team with valuable information to pair you with a foster pet. If you would like more information, please email email@example.com to be placed on a waiting list to be contacted by our Foster Coordinator when we have a foster pet that matches your lifestyle and commitment.
No! We have many foster families that choose to provide all the basic needs for their foster pets as well as food. We require that all medical care is under TLHS direct supervision. However, all food, bowls, etc. are offered and provided at no cost. Our foster pets just need your home and love!
Cats can only be fostered to an inside only home. Puppies and small dogs must also stay inside. Only older puppies and adult dogs can be approved on a case by case basis to be fostered outside. Please let our foster team know if you are unable to keep an animal inside for any reason. We prohibit any chaining, tethering, or placing on a cable run.
Yes! Animals must remain in foster until fixed and then can be adopted. All applicable fees and contracts apply. You must let our foster team know if you are interested in a pet for future adoption as this may determine which pet you need to take home into foster. Many of our heartworm positive dogs must stay in homes until their treatments are done.
Please note that all adoption fees, etc. must be completed at the time the pet is placed in your foster care. With the foster to adopt program, the pet remains in our sole custody but is in your temporary care until spayed/neutered/heartworm treated. If you would like to view available dogs/puppies for adoption, please click here.
Foster Liability Release Agreement
Foster Bite Protocol
Fading Kitten Protocol
Fading Puppy Protocol
Dog/ Puppy Fostering Medical Info
Looking for a new furry family member but not sure which pet is the best fit? Speak with our adoption and foster team and allow us to matchmake you with a pet. Click here to learn more about matchmaking and how it works. Our foster to adopt program is designed to allow a potential adoptive family to take a pet awaiting heartworm treatment or spay/neuter until the adoption can be completed.
The length a pet may be in a “foster to adopt” home depends on the medical needs of the pet and when the pet can be spayed or neutered. Many of our dogs that require heartworm treatment prior to adoption may be in a foster home for the duration of the heartworm treatment (~3 months!). For pets that are under 8 weeks in age, the foster family may need to foster for a few weeks until the pet is old enough and weighs enough to be safely spayed or neutered. For many of our heartworm negative and already spayed and neutered pets, we can get them into their adoptive family’s home right away! Please note that we are unable to send a pet into foster for a “trial” period. Adopted pets have a 14 day exchangeable period of time starting from the date the adoption is finalized.
Allowing all of our pets to be available for foster and/or adoption allows pets to go into homes faster and to start the matchmaking process sooner so that we can keep space in our facility open for incoming pets and create the best plan of action for every pet in our care.
Looking to help save a life but you are unable to commit to a pet long term? We could sure use YOUR help! We have a rescue/transport program in which some of our receiving rescues prefer a 2 week foster prior to getting their freedom ride to their new families in the north. This program is awesome for pet enthusiasts that want to support our mission and help us expand our life saving efforts. Fosters are given a specific date of transport and are scheduled for all required veterinary visits at the time of pick up. Many of our fosters even get to connect on social media with the receiving rescue and can get fun updates of the pet getting to enjoy a warm home and a loving family.
We often need help with general fostering needs with bottle babies during the spring and summer months. Orphaned kittens and puppies are overwhelming during these times and require around the clock care. Caring for infants is exhausting to our staff when most of us already have personal pets and fosters that we care for. Any help to care for these babies either through fostering or volunteering to help staff provide extra TLC to the babies in our care is greatly appreciated.
Our Finder Fosters foster pending intakes into our facility. We prioritize sick, injured, and animal control pick ups due to contracts with local municipalities. Any healthy stray or owner surrender is given an appointment within two weeks of establishing contact with our intake coordinator. We provide counseling on other methods of rehoming, encourage checking strays for a microchip and listing on local social media pages and Petco Love Lost, and plea for rescue and foster for pending intakes. Our goal is for our community to be no-kill (not just our facility). These Finder Fosters are providing life saving efforts to help support our mission until we can find placement for the pet(s).
If you are a Finder Foster, we offer “Care to” programs to help us complete our mission and save more lives! To learn more about “Care to” programs, click here.
Can’t take a dog to your home because of other pets? Can’t commit to overnight fostering due to work schedules but have a day off and want some doggy love? Doggy Adventures is perfect for you!
These foster field trips are a great way to bust our dogs out of the kennel for a few hours for a shopping trip to Petco or Petsmart or just to go for a walk in the park! Of course, if you want to just go home and binge some TV shows for a few hours with a furry friend that’s okay too!
We provide a little baggie and collar and leash for the doggo you check out. Feel free to share pictures of your temporary buddy on social media and list some of the information provided about him or her. We encourage pictures and video and can use these to update their adoption profiles on our website.
Our goal is to provide a pet service to those in our community that just want a doggie friend for a very short period of time while giving our dogs a break from the daily structure and stresses a kennel environment has. We anticipate with your participation as an advocate for our dogs on these little trips that our adoption rates will increase meaning that more large dogs will find their bestest homes!
Most recently we fostered a feral mother cat and her five newborn kittens. The mother fiercely protected her kittens and constantly growled and hissed at my girls and I, not letting us close to any of the kittens. Unfortunately, the kittens mimicked the mom's behavior for the first few days and ran from us. We all had to learn to respect the mother's instincts and keep our distance so she would continue caring for her kittens. Tambra, the Cat Foster Manager, kept in close contact with me and answered my many questions on how to best care for this feline family. After a few days of patience and persistence, the kittens began to trust us and eventually they sought us out and wanted to be held. They were healthy, playful, and affectionate when they returned to the shelter, and the mother even let me pet her a few times. It was rewarding to see the change in the kittens and know we played a small part in giving them a good start to life.
People frequently say, "How can you foster knowing you have to bring the kittens back? Doesn't that make your girls sad?" Yes, that's the hard part. We love the animals like our own and it's hard to return them to the shelter. But I saw a quote once about fostering that I've never forgotten: "My heart breaks a little so theirs doesn't have to." So true. My heart does break sometimes when I say goodbye, but I know the time and love we give these animals is what helps them become adoptable into forever homes, with families that will love them like mine. And that makes it all worthwhile.
Kaia loves to travel and I am so glad I am able to give her the chance to explore her world! She has been to 3 national parks, 13 states, and countless hikes across the country in just under a year. She has experienced the beaches of Southern California, lakes in Illinois, canyons in Texas, the snow capped mountains of the Sierra Nevadas, and our adventures won’t stop there! She is the most affectionate girl, and loves to snuggle up with me whenever she gets the chance. I am SO thankful to Tupelo Lee Humane for helping me meet my best friend, I simply cannot imagine my life without her.
Words cannot express my gratitude for all that TLHS does. I just wanted to thank you again for giving me the opportunity to love on this sweet girl for the rest of her life. I know she was treated with kindness from the moment she was rescued by you, and words cannot describe how thankful I am for each and every volunteer that made it possible for her to have the best shot at life. She is my best friend and I love her more than anything!
Everyone at the Tupelo Lee Humane Society was just wonderful to work with! Megan was our adoption coordinator and she was so great at sending us photos and videos of Max while we waited for him to be released. Finally that day came and we drove almost 4 hours to get him. The facility is beautiful and full of wonderful caring people to greet us. I think they were as happy as we were that he was going to be going home with us!
We stayed in a local hotel that night just to make it a little easier and we had a blast getting to know this adorable little guy! Puppies are a challenge, and Max is definitely his own little guy, but he has been a part of our family from the first night. Our other two dogs and cats welcomed him right away and we couldn't love him more!