Katie Thurbon, Volunteer and Foster Manager
Hi, I’m Katie Thurbon, Volunteer and Foster Manager at Great Plains SPCA. Thank you for your interest in volunteering! Volunteers are essential to our mission of providing a better life for pets and the people who love them. We have hundreds of dedicated volunteers who expand our impact in the community and enhance the lives of homeless pets through a variety of avenues.
Specifically, our Foster Care Program gives us the opportunity to save more pets in our community and is an integral part of what we do. Not all pets we serve are able to stay in the shelter for medical or behavioral reasons, so we turn to dedicated volunteer fosters to open their hearts and their homes while we finish treatment for the pet or search for their “furever” home. Please read the FAQ’s below to find out if fostering with Great Plains SPCA is right for you!
Foster of the Year - 2020
Jenny has fostered 155 cats and kittens since she began as a foster mom in 2012. She specializes in socializing the most shy and fearful cats who come through the shelter, helping get them ready for their adoptive homes. Jenny has also filled several other volunteer roles for us - including organizing the annual Kitten Shower and, most recently, helping us choose our new shelter database! In 2020, Jenny "foster-failed" for the first time when she adopted Sadie-the-Goat, now called Opal.
Some of the most common foster needs are:
- Pregnant or nursing moms
- Any pets under eight weeks of age (including bottle babies)
- Post-operative care or recovering from illness or injury
- Pets who are shelter stressed or dealing with other behavior issues
- Pets who need socialization to learn how to trust humans
- By fostering a pet in your home you are opening another spot in the shelter to save a life. Having a pet in a home also gives us more information to help match them successfully with a future adopter. We also know pets stay healthier in a home than they do at the shelter. Fostering is also very rewarding and allows you the chance to impact countless lives!
- Foster parents must be at least 18 years of age
- Foster parents must fill out a Foster Application and be approved
- Foster parents must be interested in helping their foster pets find forever homes
- Must have support for the mission of Great Plains SPCA
- Foster parents must treat any and all foster pets with love and respect
- Yes! Fostering is a form of volunteering that is done from the comfort of your home.
- The length of foster depends on each pet’s needs and will be discussed with the Foster Manager prior to placement. Some pets just need short term (a few days to a few weeks) foster while others may require longer. Ultimately, it is up to you how long you want or can foster.
- Yes. Foster parents are encouraged to meet any pets prior to agreeing to foster them. The Foster Manager will work to match each foster parent with the best fit for their family.
- We have a foster cell phone that is monitored 24/7 for calls in case of emergency. During business hours (10am-6pm) you can also text with the Foster Team to send updates and ask questions.
- Great Plains SPCA provides all medical care for foster pets and can provide food, toys, and other supplies if needed. Some fosters do choose to buy their own supplies or use what they have for their own pets, but all a foster family is required to provide is their home and their love!
- All foster pets are eligible to come stay at the shelter or go to another foster home if you need to go out of town or have an emergency arise during the foster pet’s stay. Giving as much notice as possible for foreseeable circumstances is appreciated.