Become a Foster Parent

Becoming a foster home to an animal in need can be one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have. We provide food, supplies and medical care…you provide the TLC.  CAWS has a new tiered system that provides more options to be a foster parent.   Choose the option that works best for you.


Foster Care Options:


Emergency Care homes provide short-term care, usually five days or less. This allows us to take in an animal immediately and have time to make arrangements for long-term care, if needed.


Treatment homes provide care for animals suffering from illness, injuries or surgery. Caregivers will be trained to care for the animal until it is well enough to be moved to a permanent foster home.


Short-Term Care homes provide care for animals whose owners have a personal or medical emergency and are temporarily unable to care for their pet. These pets are not available for adoption and will be returned to their owners.


Special Care homes provide a home to pets whose owner has been placed in a nursing home. The care giver would take the pet to visit with the owner, if the nursing facility will allow pet visits. This can be a long-term placement and the pet will not be available for adoption unless the owner relinquishes the pet or passes away.


Compassionate Care homes provide care for several months. Some animals are adopted very quickly and some require care for many months. Caregivers need to be prepared for a long-term commitment to the animal.


If you are interested in becoming a foster family, please contact us at (970) 527-5111. Or you may download and print the Foster Care Contract.  Mail the completed form to CAWS, PO Box 1736, Paonia, CO 81428.



By Juliana Weiss-Roessler

Do you want a dog in your life, but you’re not quite ready for a long-term commitment?  Fostering might be the right option for you.

As a doggy foster guardian, you care for a dog in your home for a set period of time or until a forever home is found. You help improve the life of the dog, and in return, you get to enjoy his or her company.

These programs are invaluable to dogs in shelters and rescues for a number of reasons.

  1. The dog gets experience in a home environment and socializing with humans, better preparing it for its forever home.
  2. The dog will have more opportunity to exercise, since the foster human may have a backyard and should provide regular walks, which may not be provided at the shelter.
  3. Since you’ll get to know the dog, you can provide invaluable insight to potential adopters, helping ensure he or she gets a home that’s a better match.
  4. Puppies who are too young to be adopted have a chance to grow up and be with their mother before being adopted.
  5. Dogs recovering from illness or injuries can get the attention they need.
  6. Dogs stressed by a shelter environment have an opportunity for more comfortable living quarters.
  7. A space is opened up at the shelter or rescue, allowing the staff to save the life of one more dog.

If you’re considering adopting, fostering can be an opportunity to see how a dog can fit in your life before making a commitment. But it’s important to be aware that it’s still a serious responsibility to take on.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself before signing up:

  • Are you ready to handle a dog with special needs, such as medical or behavioral issues? If not, talk to the shelter about your concerns, so they can match you with a suitable dog.
  • What kind of behavioral issues are you not ready or equipped to handle? Be upfront with the organization.
  • How many hours a day will you be with the dog? You don’t need to be available full-time, but it’s important to know so the group can match you with the right dog.
  • Accidents happen. Are you ready to accept that the dog may damage or mess up your home?
  • Can you provide regular walks for the dog?
  • Can you ensure he has regular access to food and clean water?
  • Will you regularly groom the dog or bring him to a professional groomer?
  • Are you able to get the dog to the shelter’s vet quickly if needed?
  • Does your homeowner’s insurance, city, or HOA have any restrictions related to pets in your home, including banned breeds?

Will you be able to give the dog up when the time comes? It can be very hard, since you will grow emotionally attached.

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