Home Away From Home

Home Away From Home

Home Away from Home (HAFH) is a program for Kansas City, Missouri, pet families experiencing short-term hardships creating a temporary inability to care for their pets.

Since October 2020, Home Away from Home has provided temporary care and support for hundreds of pets and their families.

The purpose of the program is to allow the family a little bit of time to actively focus on, and work towards, overcoming their current obstacles and the goal is to reunite families with their pets at the close of their enrollment.

Temporary care is provided for pets enrolled in Home Away from Home by a specialized network of foster homes. As the municipal shelter for Kansas City, Missouri, placement for pets enrolled in this program is dependent solely on the availability, skills, and willingness of approved foster homes. With over 15,000 animals entering our care, the shelter environment is reserved for homeless pets with no other options. Therefore, program enrollment is conditional to applicants meeting the requirements and qualifications of Home Away from Home, and a well-suited foster home available for the pet(s) in need of support.

Qualifications and Eligibility

What type of situations are appropriate for Home Away from Home?

Home Away from Home provides 30-days of temporary care for pet families experiencing short-term and manageable hardships, including but not limited to, the following situations:

  • The owner and animal(s) are displaced from their home due to a natural disaster.
  • The owner is fleeing domestic violence and/or partner abuse.
  • The owner is temporarily hospitalized for medical treatment or rehabilitation.
  • The owner and animal(s) are facing a temporary change in housing due to an extenuating circumstance such as the owner’s illness or loss of housing such as eviction or foreclosure.

Pet families eligible for this program must meet the following qualifications:

  • The pet owner must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Applicants must be Kansas City, Missouri, residents – proof of residency may be required.
  • Animals must be spayed/neutered, up to date on vaccinations, and microchipped. If the animals do not meet these qualifications, the Applicant must authorize KC Pet Project to perform these services prior to the animals entering into the program.
  • Applicants must agree to provide all requested documentation including vaccination records, medical information, care information, and behavior information for each animal.
  • Pet owners must provide all information needed to successfully match the pet(s) with an appropriate foster home.
  • Pets must not exhibit behavior challenges that are unsafe for the foster environment.
  • Pet owners must be able to partner with our Keep ‘Em Together (KETKC) team to work towards reunifying with their pets within the approved timeframe.
  • Pet owners must maintain consistent communication with our Keep ‘Em Together (KETKC) team.
  • Pet owners must agree to all terms and conditions of the Home Away from Home program.
  • Pet owners have not been previously enrolled in the program within the last six (6) months.
  • Pet owners must be able to reunite with their pet(s) after 30-days of enrollment. Extensions may be requested after 3-weeks of enrollment, but extensions are not guaranteed. An applicant’s total participation in the program must not exceed 90-days.

Looking for support?

KC Pet Project cannot guarantee placement for accepted applications within our program, despite our best efforts. As Kansas City’s municipal shelter, placement for pets enrolled in this program depends solely on the availability, skills, and willingness of our approved foster homes.

Home Away From Home Client Testimonial:

“Thank God for this program, because once the program was in place it gave me a chance to get back on my feet, get better, seek job help, and get financially stable.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What type of situations are appropriate for Home Away from Home?

  • The owner and animal(s) are displaced from their home due to a natural disaster.
  • The owner is fleeing domestic violence and/or partner abuse.
  • The owner is temporarily hospitalized for medical treatment or rehabilitation.
  • The owner and animal(s) are facing a temporary change in housing due to an extenuating circumstance such as the owner’s illness or loss of housing such as eviction or foreclosure.

Home Away from Home is best-suited for pet families experiencing manageable hardships and challenges to provide care for their pets. Pet families who work with human social service agencies, have outside support such as friends and family, and/or are able to resolve and overcome their challenges within 30-days are more likely to successfully reunite with their pets through this program.

Home Away from Home is not a boarding program. If you are seeking boarding services for your pet(s), we would recommend doing an internet search for boarding facilities in your area, or exploring resources like Rover for drop-in visits, house sitting, and dog walking.

To explore human support services available in your area, please visit FindHelp
To explore pet support services available in your area please visit Pets.FindHelp
To explore outside temporary caregivers in your area, please visit our friends at BestyBnB

How long is temporary care offered?

  • Applications are initially approved for a time frame of up to 30-days.
  • Applicants may apply for an extension of an additional 30-days, so long as they find additional support, and are actively working towards meeting their goals.
  • An applicant’s total approved participation in the program may not exceed 90-days. At that time, the pet family would be removed from the program and the pets would be required to exit the program and be reclaimed by the pet owner and/or surrendered to the shelter for adoption.
  • Once a pet family exits Home Away from Home, they are not eligible to reply for a minimum of six (6) months. Re-enrollment is considered on a case-by-case basis, and may require additional considerations for approval.

KC Pet Project cannot guarantee placement for accepted applications and/or extensions to enrollment within our program, despite our best efforts. As Kansas City’s municipal shelter, placement for pets enrolled in this program depends solely on the availability, skills, and willingness of our approved foster homes.

What does support look like for Home Away from Home clients?

Success in the Home Away from Home program is reliant upon program participants partnering with our team and actively working towards their assigned program goals. Program participants are strongly encouraged to seek additional support through human social service agencies prior to and during their enrollment in the Home Away from Home program. Program participants who are able to get connected to other support services are more likely to be successful in reuniting with their pets by their program exit day.

Pet families enrolled in this program communicate directly with our case management team who provide weekly updates, including photos and videos of the pet(s), and weekly check-ins to ensure pet families are on track to reuniting with their animals.

Due to limitations of resources, program participants are strongly encouraged to seek additional support through human social service agencies. Program participants who are able to get connected to other support services are more likely to be successful.

To explore human support services available in your area, please visit FindHelp
To explore pet support services available in your area please visit Pets.FindHelp

How long does it take to be approved for the program?

Upon submitting a completed application, it may take up to 72 hours for an application to be reviewed. Upon review, a member of our Keep ‘Em Together, KC team will be in touch to discuss the application and the client’s needs for support.

KC Pet Project cannot guarantee placement for accepted applications within our program, despite our best efforts. As Kansas City’s municipal shelter, placement for pets enrolled in this program depends solely on the availability, skills, and willingness of our approved foster homes. Securing temporary foster placement for approved applicants may take several weeks.

If you are experiencing an urgent or emergent need to find temporary care for your pet(s), we highly recommend exploring temporary caregivers in your area through BestyBnB.

Do you need an appointment to enroll?

Applications for Home Away from Home must be submitted and approved prior to enrollment in the program. Intake of animals enrolling in the Home Away from Home program should be scheduled and are not accepted without prior authorization. KC Pet Project is unable to provide same-day assistance due to the limitations of available space and program resources.

If approved for Home Away from Home, pet families will work with a Keep ‘Em Together case manager to setup an appointment for program entry and to finalize their enrollment.

Who can I contact about my application?

Upon submitting a completed application, it may take up to 72 hours for an application to be reviewed. Upon review, a member of our Keep ‘Em Together, KC team will be in touch to discuss the application and the client’s needs for support. Please allow our team up to 72 hours to review your application prior to reaching out.

  • Questions related to a submitted application may be directed to [email protected]
  • Questions related to the Home Away from Home program, including qualifications, eligibility and other general questions can be directed to our Pet Helpline by calling 816-683-1383.

What kind of animals can be enrolled?

Applicants may request care for a combination of cats, dogs, small animals, and exotic animals. Small animals and exotic animals include, but are not limited to, rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, rats, snakes, bearded dragons, turtles, etc.

Animals with severe behavior challenges and/or medical needs may not be eligible for enrollment and are considered on a case-by-case basis and availability of appropriate foster placement.

Dogs and cats enrolled in Home Away from Home are required to be microchipped, current on vaccinations and spayed/neutered. KC Pet Project may be able to assist with these services for approved pets prior to enrollment.

Do pet owners have to supply anything for the pets while they are in the program?

Pet owners may provide medications, favorite toys or bedding, treats, any available pet food, and/or any other supplies that they would like for their pet(s) while they are enrolled in Home Away from Home.

Pets that require medications may have additional documentation required prior to enrollment.

Do pet owners get to visit their animals while in the program?

Visitation of the pets by the owners may be requested, and, if approved, will be arranged by KC Pet Project and conducted at a neutral location (e.g. shelter facility). Owners of small animals or cats will not be eligible for visitations while enrolled in the Home Away from Home program.

If approved for visitation, pet owners are allowed to pick their pet(s) up for a few hours to spend time together outside of the shelter. Pet owners must return the animal by their scheduled time or forfeit their participation in Home Away from Home.

Do pet owners get any updates on their pet(s) while in the program?

As part of enrollment in Home Away from Home, clients are required to participate in weekly check-ins and stay in regular contact with their assigned case manager. During the scheduled check-ins, pet owners will receive updates about their pets, including photos and videos, as available.

What information is kept confidential for Home Away from Home pet families?

KC Pet Project staff and volunteers are committed to protect the confidentiality of the pet owners who have applied for and/or enrolled into the Home Away from Home Program by not disclosing any information about the pets, the pet owners, or the situation that necessitated the enrollment of the pets in the program. ​This restriction extends to social media posts/content related to the care of the pets, finding foster placement for the pets, unless otherwise approved by the pet family.

All communication is coordinated with a member of the Keep ‘Em Together, KC, team who are responsible for collecting updates and relaying information to the appropriate parties. Home Away from Home Fosters are not provided with any personal information (address, email, telephone numbers) of the pet owners.

What happens if a foster isn’t available for a pet family?

KC Pet Project cannot guarantee placement for accepted applications within our program, despite our best efforts. As Kansas City’s municipal shelter, placement for pets enrolled in this program depends solely on the availability, skills, and willingness of our approved foster homes. Securing temporary foster placement for approved applicants may take several weeks.

If an appropriate and well-matched foster home isn’t available then we are unable to enroll the pet family into the program. Additionally, if a foster becomes unavailable to continue to care for pets enrolled in Home Away from Home, the pets family may have to exit the program.

Is transportation assistance available for Home Away from Home?

KC Pet Project does not offer transportation assistance for pet families at this time. If transportation is an issue, please be sure to speak with a member of our Keep ‘Em Together, KC, team at time of enrollment.

Pet owners are required to provide a secondary contact as part of program enrollment. The secondary designated contact may be granted permission by the pet owner to pick-up their pets on their behalf. Additional documentation and paperwork is required prior to an animal being allowed to leave with anyone other than their owner.

There may be some transportation resources available to you.
To explore pet support services available in your area please visit Pets.FindHelp
To explore public transportation opportunities, visit RideKC’s Rider Guide and Code of Conduct

Are there other resources available for people outside of Kansas City, Missouri?

As the municipal shelter for Kansas City, Missouri, we are unable to provide support for pet families that do not reside within our jurisdiction. Proof of residency is required to access Home Away from Home.

To explore human support services available in your area, please visit FindHelp
To explore pet support services available in your area please visit Pets.FindHelp
To explore temporary caregivers in your area, please visit our friends at BestyBnB

Are fosters needed for Home Away from Home?

Fostering is what keeps this program alive! Without our incredible Home Away from Home fosters, owned pets would be turned away from the program entirely. We are currently in desperate need for additional Home Away from Home fosters. This program is an incredible opportunity for first-time fosters to get a taste of what fostering is like or for experienced fosters who want to try something new! Sign up to foster for Home Away from Home.

Want to become a Home Away from Home foster?

Fostering is what keeps this program alive! Without our incredible Home Away from Home fosters, owned pets would be turned away from the program entirely. We are currently in desperate need for additional Home Away from Home fosters. This program is an incredible opportunity for first-time fosters to get a taste of what fostering is like or for experienced fosters who want to try something new!

To sign up to foster for Home Away from Home, please use the button below.

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