Foster carers play a vital role in the work we do at Rachie's Ratirement Home. We rely on the help of dedicated foster carers who take on rats in need of additional care, attention and support. Our foster care team help our residents get ready for their forever homes.

Here are the main types of foster care you may work with:

  • Medication Care: Administering medications and support for a period determined by us and our vet to help rats recover. This is a vital role and carers are always needed. This is also our most common role and the one you will most likely start off in as a new foster carer. 
  • Post Operative Care: Administering medications to ratties who have recently undergone surgery and monitoring wounds for possible infection. In this role, it is also vital that you ensure you have the capacity to respond to emergency situations as there is always a list of risks prior to surgery with rats. We need foster carers who are able to transport residents easily and fairly quickly to and from the vet, and who have also demonstrated their knowledge around meds care cases with previous fostering experiences. 
  • Trust Training: mental/emotional rehabilitation for rats who need to improve handling or may not be used to kind humans or for those ratties who may need social trust training to help reintegrate them with a colony of friends.
  • Long Term Fostering:  There are many types of long term foster cases that may occur, however, they are not usually as common as all our other types of foster care cases. Long term foster care suits people who are willing to give their all to ratties who may need a longer term of fostering. Here are the types of long term fostering you may encounter;

- Environmental CareSome of our residents do not thrive in the rescue environment and struggle to maintain their physical health, usually due to the stress and potential grief from loss that they may be experiencing upon being surrendered. 

- Meds Care: Some of our residents require on-going medical care or medication that they are prescribed for the duration of their lives. 

- Dietary Care: Some residents may require additional nutritional care and close monitoring of weight and diet. 

  • Maternity: Pregnancy screening and/or care for mother rats with litters. Everyone loves this role, it requires some additional training and a good track record with other fostering, and where multiple fosters ask to take on a litter, preference is given to those who have been putting in the hard work with trust or meds, on a rotating basis.
  • Companion Fostering: Companion fostering is for those who may require a companion or friend for a lone rat of their own. Companion foster ratties are usually older in age and require additional care of some sort. It is important to note that we do not always have the perfect companion rattie to suit your floofs needs onsite and so we ask that you keep an open mind and also have a plan B in place in case we are not able to find the perfect match for your beautiful bean.

If you are over the age of 18, have reliable transport, and would like to volunteer your time for a fulfilling and rewarding role as a foster carer for Rachie's Ratirement Home (RRH), please contact us via the form below to express your interest! A member of Rachie's Ratirement Home will be in contact with you shortly to have a chat, if everything is successful they will discuss a foster interview and a site inspection.


  • Foster carers must have previous experience with rats. If you would like to become a foster carer without prior rat experience, you're welcomed to start your education by volunteering with the rescue and learning under a mentorship.
  • Foster caring is an opportunity and a privelige, not a right.
  • All foster care is undertaken in a wholly voluntary capacity.
  • Foster carers will, for rats in foster care, be supplied with appropriate housing and necessary medication. Foster carers will also be assisted with food and bedding within the limits of donations to the Rescue. 
  • Foster carers are required to be able to transport the rats in their care to and from the rescue, and in some cases the vets, as required.
  • All foster carers start by caring for rats in need of medical care or trust training,  and following this can be selected to care for complex, medical or maternity cases if the carer desires it, additional training may be needed and will be provided if so. 
  • Foster caring can sometimes be very heart-wrenching, but also very rewarding. 
  • Foster carers must be aware that they may foster their rats for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the case and condition of the rats requiring care. 
  • During their time in foster care, rats remain under sole custody and ownership of the Rescue.
  • All decisions made regarding treatment needs, foster duration and adoption potential/arrangements (including foster failure) is the sole responsibility and decision of authorised Rescue staff, not the foster carer. 
  • Foster Carers are not to medicate or seek vet treatment  their foster rats without consent from authorised rescue staff. 
  • All adoptions, including 'foster failure' (when a foster carer decides they would like to adopt the rat/s they are fostering), must be processed as per the standard adoption procedure at the completion of the foster period.
  • The RRH Code of Conduct must be read, understood and signed by all who wish to undertake voluntary foster caring for RRH. 

Please note: all foster animals must be checked over semi-regulaly by the Foster Coordinator. This means that all foster carers must be availble to bring animals to the rescue for scheduled appointments between 9-3 on Saturday's. The frequency of appointments depends on the complexity of the animals situation.

Foster Care Application Form

August 29, 2020