Fostering Policy

Policy Number 19

Effective: January 1, 2016 Version: 6.0

Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society, Inc.’s (BEHS) policy is to utilize a network of foster homes to care for, evaluate, and house the equines belonging to BEHS until those equines are placed into permanent, adoptive homes.


In order to foster, an individual or family must:

  • Be a current member of BEHS in good standing.
  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Have a signed liability waiver on file for each person who will be handling the fostered equine(s).
  • Submit a complete Fostering Application.

Once all of the above paperwork is received by BEHS, the rescue may:

  • Review the foster application to insure that the applicant meet fostering requirements.
  • Call and verify the references.
  • Assign a volunteer inspector to set up a time for a pre-foster home visit. During the pre-foster home visit, the inspector will view and photograph the property where any fostered equine(s) will live, view and photograph other equines on the property, and answer questions about the fostering process.

The adoption/fostering application includes a self-inspection section.  If the adopter/foster home does not submit sufficient self-inspection information or if the Adoption Coordinator or Fostering Coordinator has questions or concerns about the self-inspection photos or property, he/she may ask the Inspection Coordinator to post for an in person self-inspection.

If an in person inspection is needed, the volunteer inspector will submit the Inspection Worksheet and photographs to the Horse Records Manager.

The Foster Home Coordinator will determine if the prospective foster home meets the minimum standards of care (outlined in the Minimum Standards of Care Policy) necessary to become a foster home.  The Worksheet and photos should be submitted to the Horse Records Manager  within three (3) days of the pre-foster inspection.

After reviewing the Inspection Worksheet and photographs, the Foster Home Coordinator will contact the applicant.

  • If the application is not approved, the Foster Home Coordinator will discuss the reasons why with the applicant and outline what the applicant must do in order to be approved.
  • If the application is approved, the Foster Home Coordinator will notify the applicant, add the applicant to the BEHS Fostering list and add the applicant to the Approved Foster Home Spreadsheet.

Once an applicant is approved, he or she must sign and submit a Foster Contract to BEHS before he or she may volunteer to foster any equines.

When an equine needs a foster home (either because the equine is new to the organization, has been returned by an adopter, or must be moved from his/her current foster home), The Foster Home Coordinator may:

  • ask a specific foster home to foster the equine based on the foster home’s proximity to the equine’s current location, resources, or experience, or
  • post the equine as “Available for Fostering” on the BEHS Foster Home Email List. The Foster Home Coordinator will then consider offers to foster on a first-come, first-served basis with special attention paid to the location, resources, and expertise of the foster homes.

Foster homes are responsible for all usual maintenance costs including:

  • Hay and/or grain
  • Boarding fees
  • Partial farrier work (above and beyond $10 per horse per visit every six to eight weeks)
  • Other usual and customary costs.

BEHS will pay or reimburse for pre-approved expenses (in accordance with the reimbursement policy):

  • Veterinary work in accordance with the Veterinary Procedures Policy and Standard Veterinary Care Policy
  • Medications if preapproved by the Foster Home Coordinator
  • Supplements if preapproved by the Foster Home Coordinator
  • Corrective farrier work if preapproved by the Foster Home Coordinator
  • Paste de-wormer
  • Trims

Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society will pay $20 per month per equine in a fostering stipend, paid quarterly.  This stipend is to be used to help with (but not completely cover) the costs of hay/grain for the fostered equine.

Upon arrival of a new equine, the foster home shall:

  • Maintain the equine on a de-worming schedule
  • Maintain the equine on a farrier schedule
  • Ensure that the equine has had routine veterinary procedures performed in accordance with the Standard Veterinary Care Policy
  • Evaluate the equine’s level of training to the best of his/her ability
  • Complete an Equine ID form within one week and submit a copy of that form to the Horse Records Manager.
  • Submit front, back, left, and right view photos to the Horse Records Manager within one week

The foster home will report by email, postal mail, or the telephone the condition, health, etc. of the fostered equine(s) as needed to the Foster Home Coordinator.

The foster home will review the equine’s web profile page and provide updates to the web coordinator as needed.

When the equine is put up for adoption, the foster home will be offered the opportunity to adopt the equine.  The foster home will have two weeks from the date the equine is put up for adoption to decide whether or not they wish to adopt the equine.  If they decide to adopt, the date on the adoption contract will be the date the equine arrived at the foster home and any follow-up inspections completed or photos submitted while fostering will count towards the follow-ups required of adopters.  If the foster home does not adopt, then the opportunity to adopt the equine will then be offered to the first approved adoption applicant who has expressed an interest in the equine and the foster home will make the fostered equine available for scheduled visits by approved adoption applicants.

In accordance with the Foster Contract, the foster home must give the Foster Home Coordinator at least thirty (30) days notice if they wish a fostered equine to be removed from their property.

If the foster home has a change in address, phone number, email, or any other contact information, they should notify the Foster Home Coordinator immediately.

The foster home will submit photographs that clearly depict the entire left side, entire right side, facial markings, condition of the hooves and any injuries of the equine twelve (12) months after the equine arrives at the foster home.  The foster home will undergo follow up inspections at approximately two (2) months, five to seven (5-7) months and twenty-three to twenty-five (23-25) after the equine arrives at the foster home.

Once a foster home has fostered for five (5) years without problems, the Foster Home Coordinator will review the foster home’s history.  If the foster home has had no problem follow-up visits, the Foster Home Coordinator will let the Inspection Coordinator know that the foster home now no longer needs follow-up inspections.  Inspections will be reinstated if the foster home fails to submit photographs of the foster horse as needed/requested by the Foster Home Coordinator or Webpage Coordinator or if there are any problems with the condition of fostered or adopted horses that the foster home is responsible for.

If a foster home fails to submit photographs or self-inspections in a timely manner, BEHS may schedule additional in-person follow-up inspections.

The Board of Directors may remove a foster home’s “approved” status if the foster home:

  • Neglects or abuses an equine
  • Fails to comply with inspections
  • Fails to make the equine available to approved adopters
  • Fails to complete and submit the Equine ID Form and photographs within a reasonable amount of time
  • Fails to comply with the Minimum Standards of Care Policy
  • Moves a fostered equine without approval of the Foster Home Coordinator (in accordance with the Trailering Policy)

When a foster home’s “approved” status is removed, BEHS will remove any current fostered equines from the foster home’s care.

The following people may handle any BEHS equine in a foster home:

  • Foster family
  • Veterinarians
  • Farriers
  • Trainers with the permission of BEHS and completion of a signed liability waiver
  • Approved BEHS Adopters
  • Approved BEHS Trailering Volunteers
  • Approved BEHS Inspectors
  • BEHS members who have a completed, signed liability waiver on file at the discretion of the foster home