WHAT IS FOSTERING?
Fostering with Willow Tree Sanctuary means welcoming a domestic or farm animal into your life, home and paddock; with the goal of nurturing and loving them on a temporary basis. They will stay with you until all their vet work is done, their emotional scars are healed, and we find them the perfect forever home.
Fostering is an important part of the rescue work we do, as it enables us to save more animals across the country. Without our amazing foster carers, the capacity we have to save and rehabilitate animals in need, is much reduced. With dedicated foster carers onboard, we moved from being a few sanctuaries to being part of a greater movement.
Different animals will have different fostering requirements, and we can walk you through all of these, but by far the biggest requirements needed for fostering is love, patience and kindness .
Please get in touch with the form below to let us know how you would like to help or get involved.
Foster caring is also a rewarding and enriching experience. There are a lot of reasons why people choose to foster, be it that they’re searching for the perfect companion, or just want to help animals in need. Our foster carers are our life blood. Each one is a treasured and valued member of the team and without them we would simply cease to exist!
Healing – watching a hurt, abused or neglected animal learn to love and trust again is a magical and healing thing for the animals and the humans involved. Imagine seeing a hen walk on grass for the first time, or a dog that has been chained his whole life run free. It is incredible.
Saving lives – every animal that goes into a foster home is one less animal that gets euthanised at a pound or shelter, one less animal given away for free and put at risk, one less factory farmed animal whose life is ended simply because they are no longer profitable. Each animal that goes into a foster home gets to have a chance at living a long and safe life.
Socialisation – your other pets and farm animals will (mostly) be overjoyed to have a buddy to hang out with. Most animals are pack animals and live their best and most balanced life if they have other animal company.
Mental Health – research tells us about the many therapeutic benefits that interacting with animals can provide. This new growth area looks at how being with animals can help your human children’s empathy and self-esteem increase, and how trauma, depression and anxiety can be dramatically reduced by spending time with animals.
HOW TO BECOME A CARER
Read our foster carer requirements below to see if this is something you would like to commit to.
Fill in the foster application form with your details and why you want to become a carer.
We will review your application and be in contact with you to confirm your approval to become a carer!
WE PROVIDE FOSTER CARERS WITH…
ALL VET CARE
Everything from routine checkups, vaccinations, parasite prevention and desexing, through to major health complications and operations. All veterinary expenses are paid for by Willow Tree Sanctuary.
Our dedicated team of coordinators are here to help you and your foster have an enjoyable foster experience. There are also opportunities to link in with other carers for support, connection and sharing those cute photos.
Willow Tree Sanctuary receives regular donations of high quality food for our domestic animals; keeping your out of pocket costs as low as possible. We also hold regular food drives for farm animal supplies.
Our foster carers are given choice over who they foster, when they foster and a say in who gets to adopt their foster animal.
WE ASK OUR FOSTER CARERS TO PROVIDE…
A PLACE TO CALL HOME
The most basic requirement for becoming a foster carer is having place a foster animal can stay while looking for their forever home… somewhere they will be safe and looked after, with a belly full of food and a soft bed inside to sleep on.
Willow Tree Sanctuary requires all foster carers to have a valid Australian drivers license. Carers are expected to transport their animals to and from vet appointments or wherever else they need to go.
Just like humans, animals can develop mental health issues when they have nothing to do for extended periods of time. Foster carers are expected to provide regular exercise and enrichment for animals in care to ensure they are happy and healthy.
LOVE AND PATIENCE
Some animals coming into care will have a difficult background. They will likely be scared, and may have some medical or behavioural problems. We ask our carers for lots of love and patience while they adjust to a better life.