For more information about our Foster Program contact:  Foster Care Coordinator at or call 608-847-4060.
Click here to see our foster animals!

                          THE CARL W. NELSON FOSTER PROGRAM

The Carl W. Nelson Animal Shelter operates a foster home program to give certain animals a second chance for a happy life.   Many of these animals have had a rough time and need time to learn to trust and enjoy human company.  Some need to heal from injuries or illnesses.  Some just need a break from shelter life.  Foster homes give the time, affection, and shelter to let these dogs and cats recover and find loving homes.


Foster Homes provide temporary care for animals who have been taken in by CWNAS and are waiting to be adopted. Some of the responsibilities of a Foster Home include providing a loving family environment for their foster animal, providing basic manners and house training when necessary, helping with getting the animal to vet appointments and working with the CWNAS Foster Home Coordinator to find the perfect  Adoptive Family for their foster animal.  Foster Homes agree to keep the foster animal in their care until it is placed in a loving home. This may take a few weeks to a few months depending on the animals situation.


Provide a loving family environment for your foster animal, including quality food, water, toys, bedding, and other animal necessities and comforts. . Maintain a file folder for your foster animal with its’ vet, relinquish records and other important papers. Take the animal to vet appointments or coordinate with other CWNAS volunteers to do so (CWNAS is responsible for all approved Vet bills.)


The CWNAS Foster Home Coordinator and the CWNAS Board of Directors will advertise and search for potential ‘forever families’ for your foster animal. If an approved adopter is interested in your foster animal, the CWNAS Foster Home Coordinator will contact you to discuss the potential adoptive family and get permission to give the potential adopters your phone number or email address so you can set up a time to meet at your home. (You may request to have a CWNAS Board Member present during the meeting).


It's not always an easy job, It can be exhausting.   It's often times challenging.   It costs money; and It can be painful to let go. BUT, it can be very rewarding and fulfilling for both your foster animal and you!


You will need to fill out a Foster Home Volunteer Application .    You will then be contacted by the CWNAS Foster Home Coordinator who will set up a time to meet with you and your family at your home. You can then ask any questions you may have and go over the Foster Care Program in more detail. When CWNAS gets an animal that needs foster care, you may be contacted and asked to foster the animal.

A Foster Dog Thank You…

Your home may have been

The first kind one that I'd ever seen;

Your voice the first to teach, to praise,

To guide me through confusing days.

You're the one who taught to me

What the life of a good dog ought to be.

Your patient persistence all the while

May have won my very first doggie smile.

And now that I am off to roam

With the family of my "forever" home,

Yours is the home I will always dream of

Your gentle hands, your smiling love,

The way you coaxed tangles out of my coat,

The sound of your voice, yes, every note.

If they learn to love me the way that you do

I will know that I owe my acceptance to you.

Though my paws may wander far away,

Yours is the home where I learned to stay.

--Kam Ellery, 2000

Animals are such agreeable friends -  they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms. ~ George Eliot

Need help finding a home for your pet? Maybe we can help. Click here to see our form for helping people to re-home a pet.

Donate a Thundershirt!