Volunteer Animal Foster Caring

Why do some Shepparton Animal Shelter animals need foster care?

Some of the animals that enter the Shepparton Animal Shelter require a little bit of extra love and help before they can be adopted into their forever homes.

They may be too young, recovering from an illness or veterinary procedure or need some extra behavioural training.

Our foster care program allows members of the community to assist these special animals by allowing animals to recover in a home environment until they’re ready to be adopted.

Foster carers are provided with all necessary support, equipment and animal food required to care for the animals in their care.

Who can be a foster carer?

Providing love and care to a Shelter animal can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

Foster carers must:

  • Be passionate in supporting the Shepparton Animal Shelter.
  • Have a positive attitude towards caring for animals.
  • Have previous experience in caring for either dogs, cats, puppies or kittens.
  • Have a suitable home environment for the animal (consider things like your fencing, housing, shelter).
  • Obtain all necessary Council permits required (if you live in a residential area, there is a limit to how many animals you can keep on your property without a permit).
  • Be able to comply with all requirements of a Foster Care Agreement for each animal.
  • Be able to follow all instructions and be able to present the animal and all related records to Council Officers or a nominated veterinarian as required.
  • Understand and acknowledge that all foster animals remain the property of Greater Shepparton City Council.

To care for animals in Veterinary or Behavioral Foster Care, foster carers must be trained or suitably qualified to care for and meet the needs of the animals placed in their care. Qualifications may include Certificate in Animal Care, Veterinary Nursing, Dog Training or equivalent.

Types of foster care

Different animals may require different types of Foster Care.

Unweaned Foster Care (up to 5 weeks of age)
Unweaned puppies and kittens without a mother require around the clock specialist care. Foster carers must be available to feed, clean and toilet the puppy or kitten every few hours, day and night.

Juvenile Foster Care (5 - 9 weeks of age)
Weaned puppies and kittens who are too young to be adopted require care until they are 8-9 weeks of age. Foster carers must be able to feed and clean the litter at least three times per day.

Veterinary Care
Animals who are pregnant, have a young litter or require specialist veterinary care can benefit from living in a home environment. Veterinary Foster Carers may require specialist experience and training in veterinary procedures.

Short Term Relief
Animals who are not coping in the Shelter environment may require short term relief which varies from a few days to a few weeks depending on each animal's situation.

Behaviour Training
Animals with known behavioural issues or who require further training before adoption may require behavioural training within a home environment.

How to apply

To apply to become a foster carer for the Shepparton Animal Shelter, please complete the Volunteer Registration Form on our Volunteering page:


Click here for more information about the Shepparton Animal Shelter.