Frequently Asked Questions

SafePet Ontario receives many inquiries regarding the program. Here are answers to some of the most common questions we receive:

Q: I don’t know if my pet has been immunized.
A: Pets aren’t required to be immunized in order to enroll in the SafePet Ontario program. SafePet Ontario veterinarians will update your pets vaccines free of charge before being placed with a foster family.

Q: Does my pet have to be fixed?
A: No. You can enroll your pet into the program if it’s not spayed or neutered. However, on top of a multitude of health reasons to spay/neuter, it will be easier to find a foster family if the pet is fixed, as many of our fosters have pets themselves. For those who are interested in having their pet spayed/neutered, we actively work with our program partners to find a cost-effective solution and can assist with getting the procedure scheduled along with entering the program.

Q: My pet has behavioural issues because of the abuse. Will they be put down?
A: Absolutely not. Many pets participating in the SafePet Ontario program have experienced abuse themselves. We actively work to develop a network of trainers and behaviourists to help each pet transition successfully to their foster family. We look at our time with the pet as an opportunity to assist with their rehabilitation, when needed, and to help them move into a brighter future once they’re able to reunite with their owner.

Q: My pet has bitten the abuser. Does that make us ineligible?
A: No. This is quite common. We do not restrict any pets based on their prior behaviour, as much of this may be directly associated with their exposure to the abusive situation and is no fault of their own. Please unsure you include this information on the enrollment form, it helps us to match your pet successfully to a foster family.

Q: What information about my pet will you need?
A: We require details about your pet, including breed, weight, age, behaviour, special needs, health concerns, whether they’re fixed and if they’re up-to-date on their immunizations. We understand that some individuals may not be able to answer all of the questions, and that’s OK – just try to provide as much information as you can.

Q: What measures do you take to screen foster families?
A: Our entire SafePet Ontario network abides by the same protocols and procedures when screening foster families. We take great pride in our foster families and seek out the most compassionate, animal-loving people we can find. To do this, we rely on the following screening procedures to help with our selection process:

  • Online enrolment form: To get to know their preferences and abilities better.
  • References: A minimum of one from a veterinarian and one from a personal reference.
  • Record check: All adults residing in the home must submit a Level 2 Criminal Record Check.
  • Home visit: To meet the family and visually inspect the space the pet will be staying.
  • Orientation: All foster families undergo SafePet specific training.

All of our foster families have direct access to behavioural support, if needed.

Q: What happens if a foster can’t be found?
A: We are a volunteer-run organization and rely on the community to step up as foster families. There are times where we may not have enough foster families for the number of pet intakes. When this occurs, the client/authorized organization will be notified.

Q: How quickly can you find a foster family?
A: It depends on the type of request received. For an authorized organization working with its client, the approximate wait time is one week.

Q: Are there restrictions on the type of pet(s) SafePet Ontario works with?
A: No. SafePet Ontario doesn’t restrict enrolment based on breed, the number of pets in the household or the type of animal. We’re dedicated to helping as many people and animals as possible and actively recruit a variety of foster families to help us meet this need. If we have a foster family available who matches the pet’s needs, we will happily facilitate the enrolment of the pet into the program.

Q: Can I visit my pet while they’re in foster care?
A: No. To ensure the safety of the pet and everyone involved, visitations are not allowed. SafePet Ontario will send the client photos or short videos via a secure email so they can stay in touch with their pet and know they’re happy, healthy and are being taken care of by their foster family.

Q: What happens in urgent situations?
A: Many times, these types of situations can be urgent. We rely on our program partners, animal shelters and animal control agencies to act as emergency drop-off locations. Dropping off your pet at a SafePet Ontario partner does not mean you’re surrendering your pet. These partners are a part of the SafePet Ontario network and will hold your pet in a safe and secure environment while we work with you to compile the necessary information to facilitate a successful foster placement.

For additional questions and more information about the program, contact SafePet Ontario at [email protected].