Hamster Info Ireland is committed to preventing cruelty and promoting the proper care of hamsters. Through our activities, we aim to reduce hamster suffering and increase hamster wellbeing as much as possible.
Our aim is to find suitable lifelong homes for as many hamsters across the island as we can, and this is where you come in! By choosing to foster a hamster in need for Hamster Info Ireland, you’re helping us take in another pet in crisis so they have the best chance of finding a forever home that will be able to provide them with lifelong proper care.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST AND FOR CHOOSING TO SUPPORT OUR REHOMING EFFORTS!
We expect a lot from our fosterers, and you should also expect a lot from us! This section outlines the sort of relationship you’re entering into if you choose to foster from Hamster Info Ireland.
Our fostering criteria:
- Can and will meet the needs of the hamster for the duration of its time in care (usually several months)
- Will treat the fostered hamster as a personal or family pet and is not seeking a hamster for an education or business setting
- Is an adult of 18 or older and can enter a fostering contract
- Adult named in the fostering application will be the hamster’s primary carer and children will always be adequately supervised when interacting with the foster hamster
- Has space to hold at least one fostering cage – external dimensions of around 80x50x50cm
- Will keep the hamster indoors
- Will return the hamster to our care if their circumstances change and will not attempt to rehome the pet privately
- All members of the fostering household consent to bringing a foster hamster into the home
- Has full and express permission to bring a caged small animal into the home by the homeowner/landlord/agent and any other relevant parties
- No member of the household has ever been legally barred from owning hamsters
- Not expecting a significant change in living or financial circumstances that would affect care quality
- Has permanent residence on the island if Ireland OR right to stay for a minimum of 6 months from the date of fostering
- Can make a safe space for the hamster enclosure where other pets and known hazards cannot affect the pet
- Can provide medical care as needed and has sourced an accessible exotic vet with emergency contact details – the rescue will cover costs and will approve treatments, but facilitation is the fosterer’s responsibility
- Will help us facilitate the adoption process to the best of their ability – this includes coming up with handover plans and working with both the fostering manager and the adopter to arrange transport
And here are some expectations you can hold us to:
- Full support while fostering with us (drop us a message at any time and we’ll be back to you with the help you need as soon as we can)
- A robust handover process for your foster pet so you know as much about them as we do to make the transition as smooth as possible
- Community support from fellow Hamster Info Ireland members
- The foster hamster will either have a clean bill of health when you receive them or they’ll come with a detailed treatment plan and a clear indication of their foster care needs
- Respectful and prompt communication always, both before and after taking your foster pet home
- Your concerns and queries will always be taken seriously by our team
- Transparency in our operations as a registered charity
- We will only match fosterers to hamsters who are the perfect fit for them
We aim to keep the fostering process as simple as we possibly can while also ensuring that all Hamster Info Ireland fosterers feel well equipped to provide
Here are the steps you’ll follow to foster from us:
Ensure you’re prepared for a hamster
The first thing you’ll need to do is read our Hamster Care Guide to ensure you’re up to date with everything a hamster will need to live a happy and healthy life with you. Even if you’ve kept hamsters before, it’s important to check our care guide before applying to foster with us – hamster keeping is an active hobby and guidance has changed significantly over the last few years.
We require our fosterers to home hamsters in cages that are at or slightly below the minimum recommendations for a permanent enclosure to ensure no hamsters receive a cage size downgrade when adopted. Our rescue usually opts to use adapted IKEA SAMLA bins for fostering, though some fosterers prefer to provide their own unit and we have some traditional cages in foster circulation too.
Check you meet our fostering criteria
Next, review the criteria for fostering, ensuring you have everything you need for the type of hamster you wish to foster and that you meet our general criteria for fostering. Review our website and join our Facebook group for the best support in getting everything ready for your new foster.
Complete the foster application form below
Once you’re happy that you meet the Fostering Criteria, fill in the Foster Form below. Answer every question in as much detail as you can and leave no blank responses – doing so will delay your application. Answer all questions truthfully – we do check into your answers and will ask for proof that you meet our criteria as needed. We will be in touch if there are any issues with your application to help you remedy them as quickly as possible.
Have a chat with us
We aim to review all applications as quickly as possible – we really value our fostering volunteers and want to approve you as quickly as possible so we can rescue more hamsters! Our team reviews the Hamster Info Ireland email accounts daily but do note that our volunteers may need to prioritise more urgent work over application processing during busy periods. Please be patient with us once you send in your application – check in using the contact page on the website only if you’ve had no response from us in one week.
We’ll organise a video call with you to discuss your interest further if we’re happy with your written application. You don’t need to prepare anything further for this interview, but you should be prepared to discuss your application, prove you meet any of the listed criteria, and show your completed setup if you have one in the call. We can adjust our process to facilitate access needs – let us know in the additional information box on your application if this applies to you and we’ll email you back with alternatives.
Bring your foster hamster home!
Once we’ve approved you and matched you with a suitable hamster, it’s time to sign the fostering contract and bring your first foster hamster home! Your foster manager will provide the contract once your assessment is complete, usually on the same day of your video call. The fostering plan will come as and when a suitable hamster needs a foster space since these are tailored to each animal.
Our fosterers are volunteers and there is no pay provided for fosterers. As part of your fostering contract, we will detail any allowed expenses or provided provisions (i.e. bin cage, travel cage, food and substrate) as we process these on a case-by-case basis. It costs around €140 to provide a new fosterer with a rescue kit to provide a hamster in need with a foster home for up to 3 months, so anyone applying who can provide their own foster cage and provisions will be reducing our expenditure significantly and helping us rescue even more hamsters.
We will normally apply a ‘cooling off period’ of two weeks from date of application to giving you your first foster hamster to ensure you’re ready. Transport or delivery details vary depending on your circumstances and the location of your foster hamster – a travel plan will be agreed with you in advance. Hamsters are normally taken in by one of our Trustees for initial assessment before going to their eventual foster home, so most fosters will not take in short-notice rescues unless previously agreed upon.
If you fail to collect your hamster at your pickup time without contacting us to explain, please note that your fosterer approval may be placed on hold or revoked.