Foster Associate
Job Details
Bellevue - Bellevue, WA
Part Time

POSITION SUMMARY: The Foster Assistant is responsible for the maintenance of the dog, cat and small animal foster program. He/she oversees training and support of foster volunteers; works closely with the Foster Coordinators to arrange placement of animals into foster homes and maintains the volunteer and animal databases for the program. The Foster Assistant supports the mission, goals and phi­losophy of Seattle Humane.


  • Oversees animal flow through veterinary services and foster care to ensure there is adequate shelter space and animals are receiving appropriate care and/or disposition in a timely fashion.
  • Works with Adoption Program Manager to track, assess and promote long-term shelter animals, making appropriate disposition decisions as necessary.
  • Works closely with Cat & Dog Program Coordinators to fulfill foster home needs.
  • Sends animals to foster care and determines appropriate cubby placement for animals on campus.
  • Ensures that animals have up to date Petfinder write-ups and pictures based on Foster family inputs prior to placement for adoption.
  • Provides support for Foster Coordinators, Dog & Cat Program Coordinators and Adoption Program Manager to transfer cats into the shelter.
  • Provides training and support for cat foster volunteers.
  • Maintains Foster Care Program training and procedural documentation.
  • Ensures program volunteers receive proper training and in animal care, program procedures and policies.
  • Provides support and maintains a high level of communication with program volunteers.
  • Maintains a high level of communication with Director of Volunteer Services.
  • Ensures that vaccines, worming and other medical treatments are scheduled and administered, as needed prior, during or following fostering as directed by a Humane Society Veterinarian. Maintains high level of communication within the Veterinary Services Department.
  • Provides animal care and cleaning for animals in foster holding areas and arranges coverage when absent.
  • Answers incoming calls and responds to voicemail and email messages from Foster volunteers and coworkers promptly and professionally. Communicates with volunteers when foster animals are adopted. Is accessible for foster emergencies by pager or phone.
  • Works on other assigned programs and special projects seasonally, as time allows.


  • Assists with Animal Handling and other classes and training as needed.
  • Attends meetings with and between departments as necessary and attends other meetings as requested.
  • Assures a clean, orderly and positive working environment.
  • Provides ideas and suggestions designed to improve operational programs and working conditions.
  • Reads and initials as required, the memo board at the start of each shift.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Supervises Foster Care volunteers.


  • Daily communication (verbal and written) with Operations & Vet staff by direct contact or via communication books, written procedures, memos, emails, charts and signs.
  • Daily verbal or written communication with program volunteers through direct contact, telephone and email. Weekly to biweekly communication with administrative staff through meetings, written memos, emails or the telephone.
  • Written communication with other animal welfare agencies as needed.


A high degree of independent judgment is required. Diverse duties on a weekly basis as routine varies day to day. Formal policies and procedures are followed or developed as needed. Needs attention to detail and be able to respond to unexpected questions, comments or requests from volunteers and other staff. Must be able to maintain concentration on a task or series of tasks while dealing with frequent interruptions. Must be able to work well without direct supervision.



  • Basic knowledge of animal health, behavior and nutrition.
  • Animal handling techniques.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Organizational and planning skills to determine work priorities, schedules and time.
  • Must be able to read, write and listen effectively.
  • Computer knowledge/experience required, familiarity with databases and/or Excel preferred.
  • Experience working with volunteers.


  • At least a high school graduate or GED.


Must be able to speak clearly, hear well and write legibly; to see clearly with at least one eye; and to distinguish between various odors by sense of smell. Must have good dexterity and sense of touch with both hands; to stand or sit for four to six hours at a time. Must be able to crouch, bend from the waist and kneel. Must be able to lift up to 50 pounds without assistance, over 50 pounds with assistance (from floor to table and vice-versa, and/or carry for six to 10 feet, if not more). Must be able to concentrate and produce accurate work despite frequent interruptions. Must have good at­tention to detail, reasoning and problem-solving abilities, to perform mathematical calculations with or without a calculator.


Primarily indoor working conditions in an office/clinic setting. Some work may be done in kennels outdoors. Exposures to potential hazards include cleaning chemicals and disinfectants, needles, animal bites and scratches, zoonotic diseases (diseases that can be transmitted from vertebrate animals to people), animal hair, dander and wastes, pharmaceutical and biological agents, wet floors, potential electrical hazards. Constant noise and interruptions, back strain.

  • Chemical Interaction: A wide variety of cleaners, disinfectants, detergents and medical products are used on a daily basis. Each position at the SHS will likely encounter these chemicals during the routine performance of their duties. Specific instructions will be provided by a SHS staff member for the safe and proper use of these chemicals. If there are any questions regarding this information, copies of our chemical MSDS sheets are available for review. If asked to use a product that is unfamiliar, contact your supervisor for proper instructions.
  • Equipment Used: Personal computer, multi-lined phone, pager, needles and syringes, specimen collection equipment, microchip scanner and syringe, leashes, gloves for animal restraint, office supplies, fax machine, copier and calculator.
  • Work Hours: 24 hours per week, including one weekend day. Schedule may vary depending on coverage, holidays or emergencies.

Minimum age: 18 years