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.

Click here for info on our Safety Net temporary foster program.


Kitten Socialization

  • Redirecting rough play, appropriate play (not with hands)

Helping a Feral Kitten Become Friendly

5 Ways to Comfort a Kitten

Shy Cat

  • 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

  • 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

Caring For Foster Kittens


Michigan Humane Dog Behavior Webinars found HERE.

Puppy Socialization

Shy Dog

Action packed/Jumpy/ Mouthy Dog

Heartworm Dog

Potty Training

Medicating animals

  • 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

Ask the trainer series: 

Training in the Home:

Reactive Dog Resources:

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