Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society

Fostering FAQs

Watch our video:  Fostering for Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society

What are the requirements for fostering a Bluebonnet equine?

We ask that all potential adopters join the rescue and apply to become a foster home. Foster homes must be able to provide safe fencing, shelter (in many situations trees can provide adequate shelter), water and hay and grain for their fostered horses. Potential foster homes who have little horse experience or little experience rehabilitating horses are mentored by more experienced foster homes.

Does Bluebonnet cover the cost of care for fostering a horse and will I be reimbursed for out of pocket expenses?

Currently, BEHS pays or reimburses for pre-approved veterinary expenses, pre-approved medications, pre-approved supplements, and pre-approved corrective farrier work. BEHS also reimburses for paste de-worming and for hoof trimming.  BEHS reimburses for pre-approved corrective shoeing (if medically necessary).

Beginning in 2016, BEHS also offers a stipend of $20/month/foster horse to offset the cost of hay and grain. 

Over time, BEHS plans to reimburse for more expenses as the organization brings in more funds.

Can I foster a horse that I would like to adopt?

If a horse already has a foster home, we do not move him to a new home so that they can test him out before adoption. Exceptions may be made if the current foster home has requested that the horse be moved.  The adoption contract does include a trial period of 30 days:  if an adopted horse is returned for any reason during those 30 days the adopter may receive a full refund of the adoption fee.

Can you limit your fostering care to emergency circumstances only? Such as hurricanes, floods, tornados?

We don’t make demands on our foster homes - they can foster as much or as little as they like. If you prefer only to be available for natural disasters or similar emergencies, you can do that. You’ll be placed on the fostering email list once approved to foster and you can volunteer in any situation or for any horse you feel comfortable with.

Can I use my veterinarian to treat the horses I foster or must I use a vet approved by the rescue?

You can use any vet you like to treat the horses you foster. You must, however, get pre-approval for all veterinary work. For non-emergency work, you may get approval by emailing the President or Foster Home Coordinator. For emergencies, contact the emergency contact person.

If the fostered equine dies, who is responsible for the animals disposal?

The rescue will cover the cost of disposal. We may need your assistance locating disposal options.

In an emergency, who makes the decision to have the animal euthanized in an extreme medical situation?

BEHS’ Euthanasia Procedure Policy states that in a life-threatening emergency the foster home should attempt to contact the emergency contact person for euthanasia approval. If the foster home cannot reach any of the listed emergency contacts, he or she shall attempt to contact an officer or director for approval. If he or she cannot reach the emergency contacts, an officer, or a director, the foster home may authorize euthanasia if the attending veterinarian feels the equine needs to be euthanized immediately to prevent suffering. The foster home must then either email or call and leave a message for the emergency contact person within four hours.

What is the average turnover time for an equine in foster care?

There really is no average time. Some horses are with their foster homes only a few weeks while others have stayed with a foster home for years. Generally horses with severe behavioral problems stay in foster care much longer than those with physical problems that can be fixed.

This fostering applications seems long!  Isn’t there a shorter version?

Our application used to be shorter, but when we eliminated the pre-foster home visit/inspection, we had to add the information we normally would gather during that visit (such as questions about your facility) to the application.  It made it longer, but it means you don’t have to have a pre-foster home visit and can get approved to foster more quickly.

Are there any tax benefits to fostering?

Yes!  Since Bluebonnet is a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt organization, expenses incurred on behalf of your foster horses may be tax deductible.  This includes hay, grain, fly spray, halters, leads, dhavings, etc.  You cannot deduct additions to your property such as stalls, fences, barns, etc. - even if they are used for fostering horses - since these are permanent additions to your property.  Save your receipts and keep a list of expenses for your accountant when it is tax time.

I don’t ride or train, can I still foster?

Yes!  We have plenty of horses who need a place to live and people who will feed them, but who don’t need to be ridden or trained.  In fact, a lot of our foster homes don’t ride or train but are still great foster homes.  If we have a horse needing training or riding, we’ll include that in his description.

I’m not a very experienced horse person, can I foster?

Yes!  We do have horses who need to be moved from a current foster home or who are being returned that are easy to handle and well known in the rescue. Our less experienced foster homes can foster these guys.

I haven’t rehabilitated a horse before, can you help me?

Definitely.  Everyone has to start somewhere, and we’re happy to provide mentoring and education on rehabilitation and refeeding.

Do foster horses have current coggins, vaccinations, etc,?

When horses come in from sheriff’s departments/seizures, they may not be current.  If you aren’t comfortable taking one of those, just let the Fostering Coordinator know.  When horses come in who aren’t current on coggins and/or vaccinations, Bluebonnet does pay for their veterinary work and we make it a priority to get it done ASAP.