Become a Foster Carer

Helping Hands Animal Rescue does not have a shelter or central office. The rescue comprises a network of foster carers who look after our pets in their homes.

Foster carers are the backbone of any rescue providing the care and development, rehabilitation and socialisation of HHAR pets in care bringing them to the point where they can be adopted into forever and loving homes.

We ask all of our foster carers to sign a contract before commencing.

The contract ensures that both parties understand the obligations of each.

Foster carers must understand that the pets belong to Helping Hands Animal Rescue until formally adopted and fee paid and are only temporarily in care with the foster carer. If, for any reason, HHAR decides that the animal must be returned and placed elsewhere that is entirely the decision of the President of HHAR and a binding decision.

We place animals with you that suit your experience and lifestyle, to minimise the impact on your life. Volunteer foster carers are a vital and key step for the animals we rescue and in finding them a loving 'forever' home.

Anyone over 18 can apply to become a carer.  We currently have carers who work full-time, part-time and casual etc.  Single parents, families.  Being a foster carer suits a great number of lifestyles.  It may be suitable for some who cannot adopt and have a permanent pet such as international students, in between travelling.  

We encourage responsible supervised care of our foster animals by family members who are under the age of 18 years.

We have a small number of specific vets that our fosters attend.  Foster carers need to be able to transport their charges to our nominated vets so living in the northern suburbs of Melbourne or not too far out east etc would be preferred.

The pets legally belong to HHAR and remain so until they are adopted and a fee paid.   They are with the foster carer as a temporary measure and all decisions (except emergencies) concerning any treatment required, rehoming, adoption etc remain with the President of HHAR. 

We ask that our foster carers be able to take their foster animals to our recommended vets as we have a small network of vets who, fortunately, provide a discount.  These visits would include drop off/pick up for desexing if and when required, vaccinations and any other treatments the pet may need.  HHAR are responsible for paying the accounts when they arise through prior consultation and using our vets - except in emergencies, of course. 

It is up to the President to arrange/confirm vet bookings to keep track and prioritise so that our limited funds are managed properly. 

Foster Carers - are asked to open up their homes and provide love, safety and a nurturing environment. That the pets are allowed inside the home and warm, clean bedding be provided.  Also provide leads, collars, food bowls, kitty litter and trays.
HHAR to Carers - FUNDS PERMITTING we will provide food (wet and/or dry), kitty litter, flea and worm treatments and help out with other supplies as we are able.  As stated above, HHAR are also responsible for all vet bills providing there is prior consultation with the President unless it is an emergency. 


Yes, absolutely. One of the benefits of having foster carers is that the fosters can be socialised - when appropriate - with other animals.  Introductions must be handled slowly to ensure the safety of all the pets and it is also important that the established pets do not feel pushed aside. Common sense is a great attribute to have as a foster carer.

There may be times that the foster pets need to be kept isolated for varying periods but this would be discussed before placement.

All established pets must be up to date with their vaccinations and parasite (flea and worm) treatments.  


Short answer: NO. We have several vets around Melbourne who offer us rescue rates and without that generous offer, we would struggle to pay our vet bills as the adoption fees rarely cover our expenses.

Our President, Heidi, is responsible for arranging all vet appointments and treatments as they need to be coordinated to ensure we don't have an influx of vet bills that we may struggle to cover.

The EXCEPTION of course is in an emergency. Our priority will be to take whatever action is needed to save a foster animal's life or minimise pain and suffering. However, our president, Heidi should be contacted AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to discuss future treatment/outcomes. We have limited financial resources, and treatment may continue with a different vet once the emergency is resolved.

We ask that you take as many good quality photos of your pet in care as it develops/ages and show his/her best features.

Once the pet is old/healthy enough and has received the mandatory vet procedures (desexing/parasite treatment) and he/she is ready to be put up for adoption, we ask that you provide an honest appraisal of their character/personality and suitability for the various types of homes. For instance: suitable to be around young children or only older children; should be an only pet; best for someone home a lot. The last thing we want to do is set up our pets and adopters to fail so we assess the match of pet and adopter with your input.

Having supplied a suitable profile and images, the pet will be advertised by us on Pet Rescue, our Facebook page and elsewhere. You can also advertise, however and wherever you like, to attract potential adopters but you must follow the adoption process even if it is a family member or friend. (Please note that if you advertise your foster pet for adoption, the ad material must contain the pet's microchip number and HHAR Source Number to satisfy the legalities of advertising.)

Once an applicant fills out the adoption form, our President, Heidi, will sift through the applications. You will be sent suitable applications for the pet in your care so you can provide input.

Once an applicant has been selected on paper, we have found it is much easier if the carer contacts the applicant and arranges a time and date for a meet and greet to occur. This usually happens in the carer's home so the foster pet is in an environment they are comfortable in.


If the adoption is approved, generally the adopter will return to formally adopt the pet. This includes signing an Adoption Agreement and paying the adoption fee.

If you are contemplating becoming a foster carer, please complete and submit the form found at this link:

General Foster Application Form

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land where we work and live, the people of the nation and pay our respects to Elders past and present. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.

This website has been built using Oxygen and donated by Anne Logan
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