Animal Safe Haven & Adoptions, Inc.

No-kill foster system working to rescue abandoned, homeless, and abused animals from our local MD communities. 
Registered 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Rescue. EIN # 46-4251348. Established in 2013.

Help Save A Life By Fostering A Rescued Animal!

Animal Safe Haven does NOT have a facility. We are a foster system that relies on volunteer families like you.  Please consider opening your homes and hearts to these rescued animals in need and help us help them. We can work with most any living situation, family type, and schedule to make sure that the animal you foster is as happy as you are!  

Having the rescued animals in foster families allows the animals to receive more one on one attention. Thus we are better able to pair families with rescued kitties knowing from the foster families the behaviors, attitudes, and personalities of each cat. We are always in need of more foster families! We prefer to have kitties fostered out independently unless they are still under 8 weeks, or part of a bonded pair. Let us know what your living situation is like and what pets you already have and we will be able to match you with a foster kitty!

Fostering is an awesome way to help cats in need and depending on the time it takes for the cat to be adopted, one person/family can end up saving dozens of cats in just a year. By providing the cat with a temporary home you not only allow them to recuperate from a wide range of potentially traumatic backgrounds, but you also prevent the cat from going to a state or county shelter, where they could be needlessly euthanized for fearful and defensive behavior. In your home the cat is part of the family and has their own space to adjust on their terms. You will learn their likes and dislikes, funny quirks, teach them manners, show them kindness and earn their respect. Foster families are better able to describe the cats and their true personalities, which means that we are better able to match cats to the perfect forever families. Foster people/families are required to provide photos or videos of the ASHA cat(s) to post on ASHA's social media at least once per week. The ability to transport cats to veterinary appointments is required, and ASHA covers all vet costs. Supplies such as litter boxes, dishes, food, and litter can be provided from ASHA if necessary.

With COVID19 our new normal has been doing our required home check (where we ensure that you have all the basic supplies (see below for more info on this) set up in an isolation/ introduction room) via video chat to keep with physical distancing as much as possible. We can also help answer any additional questions you may have at that time about set up and introduction. Then once all is approved and good to go we will put you in touch with the foster family that has the animal(s) you will be fostering so that they can schedule pick up with you.

We are doing our transfers as physically-distanced as possible. Having the new foster come to the foster family and bringing their own transport carrier to provide the foster to put the animal(s) in for transportation home, while waiting outside completing the paperwork has been our best bet, but each transfer may be a little different. We are doing our best to minimize the risk of transmission and keep everyone feeling safe. 

Once you fill out an application we will email you within 24-48 hours to follow up.

Fostering Requirements:

Our cat foster program is designed to help kittens, adolescents, and adult cats alike get a second chance at finding a home — a chance they would not have received at a shelter. Many of the cats who are with ASHA have come off the streets and are in need of foster homes that can provide extra care and attention, which a typical shelter often doesn’t have the staff or resources to provide. But in a loving foster home, every cat can get the individual attention he or she needs to build trust with humans and soon find a forever family.

Care for foster cats includes feeding according to size and needs, and lots of play time and positive socialization. Although fostering can be a lot of work, it is a very rewarding experience. By participating in this program, you are saving lives and helping many different types of cats find the families they’ve been longing for. Through fostering, we can work together to Save Them All.

Thank you so much for your interest in fostering pets for Animal Safe Haven & Adoptions, Inc. By opening up your home to foster pets, you’re not only helping to save lives, you’re providing the individual attention and love these cats desperately need.

Once you have completed your foster application online, our foster coordinator will get in touch with you to schedule a home visit.

Foster Family Expectations:

Foster families MUST provide:
  • A healthy and safe environment for the foster cats to thrive in. This means understanding and complying with cross-contamination prevention methods such as washing hands between interacting with personal cats and foster cats for the first 2 weeks of fostering.
  • Transportation to and from adoption events and all vet appointments as needed
  • Socialization and cuddle time to help teach the cats about positive family and pet relationships
  • Lots of exercise and positive stimulation to help them develop into great cats
  • Proper grooming of the animal - trimming nails, brushing, and bathing when necessary. 
  • Attention should be paid to condition of stool, paw pads, ears, respiratory system, etc. to ensure full awareness of the health of the foster cat.
  • Secluded and safe introductory/isolation room
  • Reliable transportation (own their own vehicle, or be comfortable with Uber or otherwise) in case of emergency with the pet
  • Access to the foster pet within 24 hrs of ASHA's notification to see the pet

ASHA WILL provide:

  • Veterinary Care
  • Necessary Medications
  • Animal's folder that includes all vet history and supplemental info

ASHA CAN provide if needed:

  • Litter boxes and food/water bowls
  • Food and litter
  • Cage if necessary
  • Transport carrier for the animal

Questions and Answers about being a foster family:

How much time do I need to spend with a foster animal?

As much time as you can. With that said, the amount of time will vary depending on the energy level and needs of the animal you are fostering. It is ideal to spend around two hours a day socializing and playing with your foster animal to ensure that he or she receives adequate attention and stimulation. Even if that time is spent just quietly sitting in the room with him or her and doing computer work, paper work, or reading while the animal gets used to your presence. 
Can I foster cats even if I have a full-time job?

Yes. The foster application is designed as a survey to help the foster coordinator match you with the best animal for your needs and your current schedule. If you have a full-time job, the foster coordinator will match you with a cat who may be OK alone during the workday. You would then just need to provide ample attention to the cat before and/or after your workday.

Can I foster a cat if I don't have a fenced yard?

Yes. We require that all foster cats be kept indoors for the duration of their stay in foster homes, so a fenced yard is irrelevant.

How long will the animal need to be in foster care?

It varies, depending on the condition of the foster animal. Foster homes are generally needed for animals with medical or behavioral issues that are best resolved in a home setting rather than a kennel environment. Different special needs require different amounts of time for healing. We also make sure to set up fosters with animals that best fit the foster family. We understand some individuals or families may have an upcoming trip planned or may only have time during the summer to foster. We will try to make sure to work with in your schedule to find the best fit and make it work well all around.

How often does my foster animal need to go to adoption events?

We only want the animals that are comfortable with going out in public to go to the adoption events. Unnecessary stress on the animals is not something we ever want to put an animal through. When a rescued animal is ready for adoption events we will try to make sure he or she is able to attend as many as possible, thus ensuring more time in the public eye and having a better chance with getting adopted! Currently with COVID-19 we are not planning public adoption events. Our main way of spreading the word about the rescued and adoptable pets is by social media so we ask our foster families to take plenty of cute videos and photos to post on our ASHA Facebook page and please share that with your friends and family too!! 

When  is my foster animal ready for adoption?

When a rescued animal has been cleared for adoption by the veterinarian (kittens must be over 2 lbs), is fully up to date on all necessary vaccines and vet care, has been tested for FeLV and FIV, passed a stool sample and if age appropriate - is spayed or neutered, he or she will be ready for adoption! Some kitties are able to be adopted out with in days or weeks of intake. Others may take months or years unfortunately; it all depends.

Will I need to give medicine to my foster animal?

Almost all of the animals that we have in our foster program are rescued from off the streets and have been exposed to common animal illnesses. While we do our best to ensure that we are aware of all the conditions that a foster animal may have prior to going to a foster home, many illnesses have incubation periods, meaning symptoms can arise after you take an animal home. So while some animals do not require any medicine, many may need them. If your foster animal needs medications, we can show you how to administer the medications and assist as much as we can. We will not ask you to do anything you are not comfortable with. 

Can I let my foster animal play with my personal pets, neighbors pets or friends/families pets?

We highly suggest that the foster animal is kept isolated from your pets for a minimum of 2 weeks before they may be slowly introduced to your pets if no health issues have appeared during the 2-week acclimation period and approval is given by ASHA. If for any reason your personal pet becomes ill while you are fostering an ASHA pet, we cannot provide medical care for your personal pet. While foster animals playing with other pets is often fine, we advise that you consult with your veterinarian before fostering to ensure that all of your personal pets are healthy and up-to-date on all vaccines. Animals in shelters are very susceptible to illness and can carry or catch different diseases such as upper respiratory infections or ringworm. This is why it is critical to wash your hands in before and after leaving the foster cat room. As for possible behavior issues, we try to evaluate the animals we take in as best as we can, but there are many unknown factors and the best bet is to let the foster pet set the pace. Some pets may not be ready for this next step. Also, it depends on the other pets in the household; their behavior with a new animal is unknown and so the interaction could turn aggressive quickly from either animal - it's always best to be safe and not sorry. Thus we typically prefer foster pets stay separated from other pets.

What if I want to adopt my foster animal?

If you want to adopt one of the animals you are fostering, you will need to complete an adoption application and follow the full adoption process. If you’ve already transferred the animal to another foster with ASHA, please contact our foster coordinator right away because once the animal is up for adoption, we cannot hold him/her for anyone, including the current or previous foster parent. Do keep in mind though that we do prefer to see the fostered animals that are happy and thriving in a foster family have that family become their forever family if it is a perfect fit. Sometimes a short term foster arrangement becomes a permanent home; it's what's commonly known as a 'foster failure', and in no means is a bad thing. It just means that the rescued animal has successfully found their forever family!

What if I know someone who is interested in adopting my foster animal?

If someone you know is interested in adopting the animal you are fostering, please contact the foster coordinator as soon as possible, because once the animal is up for adoption, we cannot hold him/her for anyone. However, we do want to accommodate referrals from foster parents if we can. Have the person you know submit an adoption application ASAP once you confirm the animal is still available for adoption. We don't tell the foster families about each application that we receive, only the applications that have gone through the approval process and are ready to meet the animal. So there may be a submitted application that is in the approval process. 

Will it be hard to say goodbye to my foster animal?

Saying goodbye can be the most difficult part of fostering, but keep in mind that many more animals need wonderful foster homes like yours. Remember, you are playing a crucial role in helping to Save Them All. Without your help these animals would be stuck in kill shelters and most likely euthanized or fighting to survive while living on the streets. You are their hope; it's because of you and the help you provide that the rescued animals have a chance. You can be proud of every animal you help provide a better life for and a second chance at their much deserved happy-ever-after. We even encourage foster families to ask to keep in touch with the forever families of the animals they fostered, which helps provide a sense of joy and continued connection to the animals they helped rescue.

Who will take care of my foster animal if I need to go out of town?

If you have travel plans while you are fostering an animal for ASHA, you will need to contact the foster coordinator to arrange a temporary transfer of the foster animal to another ASHA foster family until you return. Please provide at least one week’s notice to ensure that we can find space for your foster animal. If your trip is over a holiday, please provide a minimum of two weeks’ notice. You cannot leave your foster animal with an unauthorized person/family member/pet sitter - we will need to approve them via the Volunteer Application process first. We have specific requirements for foster parents, and ASHA will need to make sure that the pet sitters you have in mind fill out and submit a foster application, it is approved, and then have them sign the release waivers for the foster program. I know it sounds complicated but it's for the safety of the rescued animals and for our liability purposes. 

What if my foster animal bites me?

If any of your foster pets bite you and break skin, causing you to bleed, you need to report the bite to the foster coordinator within 24 hours of when the bite occurred. The law requires that we report all bites. The teeth of the animal, not the nails, must have broken the skin. If you are unsure, then please report the bite anyway. We always want to know when a foster animal has harmed a person or another animal, be it by accident or on purpose. Never fear though, we will never immediately categorize any animal a threat or allow any animal to be euthanized due to one experience or incident. We have had a wonderful record of NEVER having to have any of our animals euthanized due to aggression issues. We make sure to properly assess their behaviors and keep safety of the rescued animals and others our #1 priority. Our requirement to be informed of biting behavior is to ensure that you are OK, to learn why it happened, to try and ensure it won't happen again, and make appropriate changes to see that happen.

What if my foster animal is not working out?

You are not required to continue to foster any animal if you feel it’s not working out. However, we may not have an immediate alternate foster home. We will work on moving your foster animal out as soon as possible, but ask for your understanding and patience. Please call, text, or email the foster coordinator if this situation arises. We will also work with you to try and fix any issues you may have, be it a need for behavior or training modification, medical change, change of accommodations (cage) or more. 

Can I foster an animal to fulfill a community service obligation?

Unfortunately, ASHA cannot sign off on court-ordered community service hours for fostering. Community service is supposed to be supervised work, and fostering is unsupervised, since it takes place in your home. If you need community service hours, on-site volunteering is an option at one of our foster families, at adoption events, and fund-raising events. Contact us to begin volunteering! Information about volunteering for ASHA and our Volunteer Application is located HERE.

Have more questions? Looking for different info? Feel free to EMAIL us!