December 8, 2021


travel, Always a step ahead

Dakin Humane Society: Special people for special animals

Dakin Humane Society is encouraging people who are interested in providing foster care for small animals and dogs to step up and enjoy an unforgettable experience. We’re seeking foster parents for those specific types of animals in need at this time.

First-time caregivers can take small animals (rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, birds, degus, chinchillas, hamsters, rats and gerbils) into their homes for foster care, while people with moderate-to-advanced skill levels are sought for dog care. Several of the dogs in need of foster homes may be afraid of changes in environment, and are best suited for homes without young children or other pets.

Many Dakin pets need foster care before they can be adopted for a variety of medical and/or behavioral reasons. Every animal is unique. Some may require medication, regular weight tracking and other record-keeping, but our staff can train you in these skills. Plus, our Foster Mentors are available to answer any questions you may have.

Typical foster care pets may include mother animals with litters, recovering, sick or injured animals, those with specific medical needs, or animals who simply find the adoption floor too stressful and need a break. The time frame for having a pet in your home could be as brief as one week, or as extended as three months. We will work with you to ensure you are comfortable with the time frame of your commitment.

Dakin provides all medical care, and fosters provide food, toys and other routine animal care supplies. Fosters must bring animals to our Springfield Center for medical care and treatment. Since this could be several times a week depending on the animal, reliable transportation is a must. Primary caregivers must be at least 18 years old, but other family members, especially children, are encouraged to take part in helping foster pets. Fostering is a great way for parents to gauge their children’s capability to be responsible with animals before adopting one of their own, and to watch them experience the joy of animal companionship, especially for the first time.

By becoming a foster caregiver, you partner with us in our mission of keeping people and pets together. Your good care will help make your foster pet’s eventual adoption more successful. There’s no denying that when you foster an animal, you save lives. And that’s pretty spectacular.

Foster caregivers have the support of a dedicated Dakin staff member, online foster resources, and Foster Mentors. When one of our animals goes home with you, part of us does too. We need you to feel comfortable and know that we’ve got your back.

So, at the end of the foster stint, your animal buddy has shown great improvement and is ready to head to the adoption floor. As we often say, “Goodbye is the goal.” It’s not easy to walk away from that special bond because falling in love is hard. But when one pet goes on to their new home (and adventure), you can help a new life that needs you. If the goodbye really is impossible, you can always adopt your buddy and become what we lovingly refer to as a “foster failure.” Nearly everyone at Dakin has earned this title, and there’s no shame in that!

Over the course of most years at Dakin, about 25% of adopted pets spent time in a foster home first. Last year it was more than half. We’d welcome your help. To learn how easy it is to get started, visit

Lee Chambers is media relations and development specialist of the Dakin Humane Society. Dakin delivers effective, innovative services to animals in need and the people who care about them.

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