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Pet Loss Support Group

November 7th, 2017

Join us to share memories about your pet with pet lovers who have had similar experiences.

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Great Indy Pet Expo

November 11th, 2017

Stop by IndyHumane's booth at Indy's largest celebration of pets and pet people!

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Turkey Bowling at Kroger

November 17th, 2017

Bowl with turkeys for a good cause!

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Foster Program

The Nonie Krauss Foster Care Program is designed to help the animals in our shelter who need extra time before being ready for adoption. We’re currently looking for people interested in fostering a variety of animals in need, including animals with minor behavior issues, animals in need of medical treatment, puppies and kittens too young for adoption, and moms with puppies or kittens.

Who needs foster care?

Lab mixSome dogs and cats are nervous or shy here, or may have too much energy for the kennel environment.  Giving these animals foster care helps them to prepare for their new lives. It gives them an opportunity to gain confidence or manners so they can find that perfect someone. If you have a resident dog and would like to give a shelter dog a vacation, we would schedule a time for you to bring your dog to the shelter and meet with our Canine Behavior Department so an appropriate match can be made.

Some of our biggest foster needs are foster homes for cats or kittens who have come down with an upper respiratory infection and need a quiet home to recover. The shelter can be a very stressful place for cats, and having a loving foster home to recover helps these animals prepare for their forever homes.

Some dogs need a little extra medical care while they are with us. Foster parents help to provide loving, caring homes where dogs can recover from surgery or heal from a broken bone.  Sometimes dogs come down with upper respiratory infections as well and need some time to recover before finding their forever home.



Puppies and kittens are often brought to our shelter without their mothers while still too young or small for our adoption floor.  These animals need some time to grow before they’re ready to go to their forever homes.

We also need foster homes for mama dogs and their puppies.  Although we do not see them as often as we do cats with kittens, we always need foster parents ready in case the need arises.

How do I become a foster parent?

  1. Fill out the online Foster Care Application/Waiver and Foster Parent Agreement and submit it to the Foster Care Coordinator.

    Please look over all the information on our website about our foster care program, including the Foster Care 101 Handout. If you have any questions about the program please email Foster Care or fax to 317.876.2428.
  2. After reviewing your application, the Foster Care Coordinator will contact you to discuss the program further.
  3. Take home your first foster animal!

For more information, please contact:
317.872.5650 x111 or email us.

Fax: 317.876.2428.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I choose which animal I'm willing to foster?

A: Yes, you can specify what type of animal you are willing to foster, dog or cat, puppies or kittens, sick or injured. It’s your choice.

Q: I have pets of my own, is that okay?

A: Yes, you can foster even if you have pets of your own. Foster animals should be isolated from your personal pets so that you do not risk spreading any possible illness. The Humane Society of Indianapolis provides any medication needed for the foster animals; however we are not able to treat foster parents own animals if they become ill. Make sure your own pets are fully vaccinated.

Q: What supplies do I need to foster an animal?

A: Nothing! The Humane Society of Indianapolis will provide everything you need: food, bowls, towels, and whatever else your foster animal may need. All you have to do is open your home and your heart to that special animal in need.

Q: What happens if my foster animal becomes ill?

A: The Humane Society of Indianapolis includes a Veterinary Services Department to care for our animals. A professional is available for consultation 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week in case of an emergency.

Q: How long will I foster an animal?

A: Every case is different. Foster care can take anywhere from 1 week to 2 months, depending on the reason for fostering. The foster parent decides upon a time commitment. For example, if you are available for two weeks, you will only have the animal for two weeks. However there may be times when you are asked to keep a foster animal longer than the initial estimated time. Any amount of time that you can volunteer is helping an animal and us.

Q: If I spend time fostering an animal, will it find a home?

A: Of all foster care animals, 95% are placed into new homes. We understand the bond can be formed between you and your foster animal so we will do everything we can to make sure that your foster animal gets placed into a loving home. Foster parents are also encouraged to help find their foster animals a home. Sadly, there are times when even with the best care provided by you and the Humane Society staff, the outcome is not always as what we hoped for. Our staff will do its best to help you understand the particular circumstances in these instances.

Q: Can I adopt my foster animal?

A: Our foster parents often fall in love with their foster animal and wish to make them a permanent addition to their family.  Foster parents interested in adopting their foster animals must go through the normal adoption procedure.

Q: Who was Nonie Krauss?

A: Our foster care program is underwritten in loving memory of Eleanor “Nonie” Krauss (1949 - 2007). Nonie loved life. She loved things that coo and fly, things that had four legs, things that were green and flowering. In 1999, Nonie rescued an abused dog, a Chow/Golden she named Cubby. Because of Nonie, Cubby enjoyed many years of life he never would have had. Nonie and her husband, John, fostered animals in need from the Humane Society of Indianapolis. The Nonie Krauss Foster Care Program was dedicated in her memory on October 25, 2009.

Foster Care Happy Tails

Cat Cat Cat“I’ve had lots of great experiences with the Foster Care program.

My favorite part of it is getting to learn a little bit about the very different personalities of each animal.  It doesn’t take many days for them to let you know what they like to do, how they like to play etc., and they are all so different.  In litters of kittens, or older cats they’ll all have something different about them that sets them apart. To see how trusting they can be, how they love to be with humans, how much fight and play is in them even when they are quite small or sick.

“We have 3 cats, 1 dog, 1 guinea pig and a bird in our family - so the reality is that I won’t be adopting anymore animals in the near future.  Fostering allows me to get to know and enjoy new animals for brief periods of time.  I can still get a “kitty fix”, but know they’ll go back in a few weeks and have a very good chance of finding a permanent home.  I add to their life, and they very definitely add to mine.”
- Kathie, long time foster parent


CatCatCat “Something amazing happened last night…

I usually sit next to the carrier on the floor, that’s where Fred likes to sit. Since he doesn’t like to get picked up, I pet him in there. I started to brush his head and he liked it. Georgia and Mississippi got on my lap and one started to play with my necklace and the other one laid with her legs up. I stopped brushing Fred and started with the other two.. At this point Fred saw they are having fun on my lap and since I was not brushing him anymore he came out and SAT ON MY LAP!!! I could not believe it. I started to brush his head. Between three of their PPPPUUUURRRRing got loud. It was amazing. Fred got up my lap few times and came back again asking for more.”
- long time foster mom, after a foster triumph

Fred, Georgia, and Mississippi spent several weeks in foster care recovering from an upper respiratory infection. Fred was a big scaredy cat and was nervous and shy here in the shelter. During his time spent in foster care he opened up and gained confidence.  All three cats came back to the shelter and found their forever homes.

Adoption Hours

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