Questions and answers for pet owners

Here are some frequently asked questions that our pet owners have. Please contact us if you would like more information.

Q: Can I use your service?

A: If you are a victim/survivor of domestic violence and abuse and are in Cornwall or Devon, or are fleeing to these areas we may be able to foster your animals.  You can call us directly, or , if you are in touch with any support services such as Domestic Violence and Abuse Services, the Police, Social Care and so on they can make a referral to our service on your behalf.

Q: Do I have to go into a refuge to be able to use your service?

A: Whether you go into refuge, emergency accommodation or stay with a friend or family member we will be able to foster your pet(s) if we have a suitable foster home available.

Q: What type of pets can we foster?

A: Dogs, cats, horses, birds, reptiles and small animals such as hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs and so on.  Whatever pets you have, we will do our best to find foster homes for them so do get in touch.

Q: Who would foster my pet?

A: Pet foster carers are volunteers who work for Refuge4Pets and they are committed to caring for animals. All of our pet foster carers are carefully recruited to make sure they can offer the best possible temporary foster home for your pet while you start to rebuild your life.  We have pet foster carers across the South West which means we can place your pet in an area where they will be safe.

Q: Will I know where my pet is?

A: To ensure the safety of your pet and their foster carer we will not share with you where your pet is placed as we understand the tactics that perpetrators of domestic violence and abuse use.  We will be guided by you about which geographical areas you feel your pet will be safest and what type of environment your pet will be happiest in.  Your safety is also very important to us and we will agree with you a safe way to collect your pet and keep in contact. We will not share any information with our foster carers about you.  Our pet foster carers agree and adhere to a strict confidentiality policy and will not share any pictures or information about your pet with anyone outside of the Refuge4Pets team.

Q: How will I know how my pet is doing?

A: We will contact you regularly to give updates and you can call us.

Q: Will my pet have to be neutered or castrated?

A: We do not routinely neuter pets. We will always act on the advice of vets and animal behaviourists. Although, we do need to ensure that pets are placed in suitable foster homes and we will take whether they have been neutered into account when selecting placements. We may need to neuter a pet to be able to foster them, but would always discuss this with you first.

Q: What about my pet’s microchip?

A: Don’t worry, we will arrange for the details to be updated and if your pet does not have a microchip we will arrange this as it is a legal requirement for some pets.  Refuge4Pets will cover the cost of this.

Q: How long can my pet stay in a foster placement?

A: This can be anything from one night of emergency care to six months or longer for some pets while owners find suitable, safe accommodation and are in a position to be reunited with their pets.

Q: Will I need to pay anything?

A: All food, accessories, bedding and routine vet bills will be paid for by Refuge4Pets while your pet is with us. If your pet develops a health condition while in our care we will discuss this with you and agree an appropriate care plan. We ask that you contribute towards the cost of caring for your pet after 3 months of pets being in foster care as we are such a small charity with very limited resource.

Q: What if my foster pet is unwell?

A: All pets will receive a health check at the start of their foster placement and ongoing vet treatment as needed. This will be paid for by Refuge4Pets. If a pet develops a serious health condition while in a foster placement we will work with the owner and veterinarians to decide the best course of action.

Q: What do I do when I am ready to be reunited with my pet?

A: Just get in touch and we will make the arrangements to reunite you with your pet. Please do give us as much notice as possible though as we are taking care of lots of pets.