Foster Care Volunteers

Raising orphaned wildlife is a wonderfully rewarding experience.

Watching the animals develop from helpless babies to self-sufficient young animals is a rare opportunity few ever get to experience. Please read the following information if you think you’d like to join the SF ROMP foster care team.

Fostering is a lot of work, though only for a few weeks per litter. It requires commitment to raising the animals in accordance with our protocols, which focus on providing the highest level of care with the aim of releasing self-sufficient wildlife. Keeping wildlife wild is our aim.

Training and support is provided, as well as food and other necessities.

Foster care of orphaned wildlife comprises 2 stages of care. Bottle feeding infants, and juvenile care in an outdoor enclosure in your yard.

It is possible to provide only one stage of their care, if you cannot care from them from the bottle to release age.

Stage 1

Bottle feeding babies requires a commitment to feed babies at evenly spaced intervals, 4 to 5 times, throughout the day. A warm quiet place must be available to keep the carrier they are housed in. Babies mostly nurse and sleep. Young animals in a carrier are portable, however, a minimum of transporting is best (e.g., to and from work once a day, if there is a quiet place at work for them to sleep in their carrier).

Stage 2

Self feeding orphaned wildlife are housed in outdoor enclosures that are “decorated” to create a naturalistic forest inside – tree limbs and pine boughs are hung inside to create a “jungle jim” for animals to learn how to climb on.  Enclosures are assembled only in dog-free yards where children will not be playing regularly. Natural foods are fed to these animals as they learn the skills they’ll need to survive in the world independently.  Renters must have permission from owner or manager.

A two-season commitment to foster is required to assemble an enclosure in a foster care providers yard because it is a lot of work setting up the enclosure. Enclosures can be dis-assembled if panels are stored safely until the following baby season, and assistance will be provided in re-assembling the following season.  Enclosures are generally 4 or 5 feet wide, and a minimum of 8 feet long. 4’ wide by 12’ long is ideal.

Hotline consultant volunteers help people find humane solutions to wildlife problems as an alternative to hiring trappers who are required to kill any trapped animal that is not released on the property where it was trapped. We believe that there are humane solutions for whatever wildlife are doing to bother people, and strive to find the right help for every caller.

If you have good skills working with the public, and want to help save a lot of lives by providing information about wildlife, and practical solutions, please call Jamie (415) 350-9453.