Foster Volunteer Resources
Animal Foster Care Resources
Michigan Humane wants to provide our foster volunteers with the resources they need to have the best experience with their foster animals. Below you will find links to a variety of helpful topics.
- Redirecting rough play, appropriate play (not with hands)
Helping a Feral Kitten Become Friendly
5 Ways to Comfort a Kitten
- Start in small space until cat feels comfortable, otherwise it will hide! A bedroom or bathroom can work for this.
- Keep separated from other pets in home, do not force interactions.
Litter Box Issues
- Always rule out medical issue first!
- Try moving box to a more open or enclosed space
- Try different type of litter
- Try adding another box
- Move box to where cat is having accidents
- Declawing cats is not a procedure that Michigan Humane performs. This procedure actually removes part of the bone from the digits on the cat’s paw and can cause behavior issues and arthritis.
General Feline Resources
- Kitten Care Guide
- Perfect litter box set up posters for clients struggling with inappropriate elimination
- Collective database for feline behavior issues
- Territorial behaviors in cats
- How to pet and handle cats
- How to keep cats calm and happy
- Introducing cats
- Cats and hiding spaces
- Cats & Kids: bringing home a baby
- Kitten Foster Training Guide
Caring For Foster Kittens
Michigan Humane Dog Behavior Webinars found HERE.
- Training builds confidence & crate training can help give dog a safe space https://www.clickertraining.com/node/4386
- Why a Safety Zone Is Important to Dogs
- Does Your Dog Really Want To Be Petted?
- Help Your Shy Dog Gain Confidence
- Socialization: When To Do It, When Not To Do It
- Five Things To Know About a Dog’s Threshold
Action packed/Jumpy/ Mouthy Dog
- Manners & Skills
- Replace Bad Behaviors
- Canine Bullies in a Multiple Dog Household
- What is a Threshold for Dogs
- Always make sure the animal is getting it’s prescribed meds. If unable to get animal to take, please contact the foster department immediately.
- Try to hide in healthy bite sized snack! Make sure it is a safe food for the pet.
- For difficult animals, shelter med staff can show you how to use a pilling tool to help!
Upper Respiratory Infection
- To help animal with URI, try “steaming” in the shower. Set animal in bathroom and run hot shower for 10-15 minutes at a time. It helps to do this more often rather than for a longer time.
Cat to Cat
- Cat introductions can take a long time depending on the cat. Starting off in separate rooms, you can switch out a blanket from each so they can get used to each other’s smell, you can try this for about a week. Then you can try letting them sniff under a door or barrier and see how that goes. If both cats seem interested and calm, you can try an introduction, allowing both cats to separate from each other if they would like (do not trap in same room).
Dog to Dog
- Dog’s should start off in neutral space (outside possibly) on leash walking near each other, but not so they can come in contact. If all signs point to them wanting to meet, you can move in closer and continue walking along each other. If this goes well and dogs are loose bodied and wanting to meet (wagging tails, play bows, sniffing each other, etc.), you can then try letting them meet off leash while leaving the leashes dragging/connected in case you do need to separate. This can be done in a backyard/fenced in area, or larger indoor area.
Dog to Cat
- The dog should be controlled on a leash and the cat should be free to walk away if wanting to. You will want to pay close attention to the animal’s body language. Making sure both feel comfortable (loose bodies, no hard staring, etc.). If the dog seems too interested in meeting the cat, that can also be problematic, perhaps a prey drive to beware of.
Additional Behavior Links:
Here is a welcoming home your new dog webinar – Meant for when you adopt a new dog, but the majority of it applies to new foster dogs in the home too!
Advanced Behavior Webinars
- Advanced Canine Body Language
- Reaching the Shy and Fearful Dog
- Understanding and Working With Aggression and Reactivity in Dogs
Ask the trainer series:
Training in the Home:
- Trigger Stacking: What It Is
- Counter Conditioning: Training Behavior Issues
- Training Your Dog to Not Bark at Sounds
- Interrupting “bad” behaviors
Reactive Dog Resources:
- Navigating Vet Visits for Reactive Dogs
- Explore More, Bark Less: Peaceful Home– Tools to live successfully in their homes with dogs that bark at people or other animals
- How to Exercise Reactive Dogs
- How To Travel With Reactive Dogs
- Barking at Dogs On Walks
- Let’s Go (when dogs are barking on walks or at fence lines)
- Barking At Dogs Behind Fences