Each 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.

Our dedicated foster families provide in-home care for these animals for an average of 2-4 weeks. With the TLC that our foster parents provide, these animals are able to receive the individual attention that they each desperately need to become something truly special – a lifetime companion. Not only is fostering a fun and educational activity for the whole family, but our foster parents report they are completely enriched by their experiences. They feel significant satisfaction knowing they made a direct impact on an animal’s life.

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!If you are interested in learning more, email or call 816-986-4429 to learn more about this life-saving program.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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 Shelter Veterinary 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: Every Sunday, foster applications are reviewed and training instructions are emailed out.

Step 3: Start your foster parent adventure!

At the foster class, you will have the chance to speak with the Foster Care Manager about your individual home and what animals might be right for you. When animals at the shelter need fostering, requests will generally be made through email. With the high volume of animals that come to Wayside Waifs every year, at any given time we can have 20-150 animals needing foster care. Thank you for considering this amazing volunteer opportunity!

Mon.: Closed
Tues. - Fri.: 11am - 7pm
Sat. & Sun.: 10am - 5pm

3901 Martha Truman Road, KC, MO 64137