Effective Disinfection Protocols for Safe and Healthy Foster Care Environments


Fostering a shelter pet is a compassionate and rewarding experience that plays a crucial role in the wellbeing and rehabilitation of animals. The transition from a shelter to a home environment is vital for the pet’s emotional and physical health. This guide provides essential disinfection protocols to ensure that both foster pets and their human caregivers remain safe and healthy.

The Importance of Foster Care

Even in the best shelters, animals can experience stress, which can weaken their immune systems and slow their recovery. Isolation of sick animals in shelters, though necessary, can further impact their wellbeing. Foster homes offer a low-stress environment that is conducive to quicker healing and better emotional and developmental outcomes.

Disinfection Protocols for Foster Care

Preparing Your Home for a Foster Pet
  • Consultation: Speak with the shelter’s vet before bringing a foster pet home to understand any infection risks. They may recommend isolating the new pet for a two-week period.
  • Isolation Area: Create an easy-to-clean isolation/safe room, ideally with hard, non-porous surfaces. Spare bathrooms or rooms with tile or vinyl flooring are ideal.
  • Disinfection: Clean and disinfect the isolation area with Prevail RTU before introducing the new pet. Follow the specific steps outlined below.
The Trip Home
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Wear gloves and coveralls when picking up a potentially infectious pet. After returning home, immediately launder your clothing and disinfect any contaminated surfaces in your vehicle using Prevail RTU.
  • Hand Hygiene: Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling animals or contaminated equipment.
  • Carrier Disinfection: Disinfect pet carriers to prevent the spread of diseases. Simply hosing them down is not sufficient.
  • Calming Techniques: Use calming music to reduce transport stress. Avoid essential oils; instead, opt for calming pheromone sprays like Feliway.
Settling In
  • Dedicated Supplies: Use dedicated equipment and supplies for the new pet and keep the isolation area door closed to minimize pathogen spread.
  • Surface Disinfection: Identify and regularly clean and disinfect potential surfaces that could harbor pathogens, including pet beds, blankets, furniture, floors, and toys. Clean and disinfect daily or more frequently if visibly soiled.
  • Ongoing Maintenance: Continue weekly cleaning and disinfection of pet contact surfaces once all pets are confirmed healthy.
Disinfecting with Prevail RTU
  1. Pre-cleaning: Remove any visible soil from surfaces.
  2. Application: Spray, foam, or wipe Prevail RTU onto the surface, ensuring it is visibly wet.
  3. Contact Time: Allow the surface to remain wet for 1 minute to kill viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
  4. Drying: Wipe dry or allow the surface to air dry.


By following these disinfection protocols, foster caregivers can provide a safe and nurturing environment for shelter pets, aiding in their recovery and ensuring their well-being. The use of effective disinfectants like Prevail RTU helps protect both the animals and their human companions, fostering a healthier community for all.

For more detailed instructions and to ensure compliance with safety guidelines, always refer to the product label and consult with your shelter’s veterinary staff.

By adhering to these comprehensive protocols, foster caregivers can make a significant difference in the lives of shelter pets, providing them with the care and attention they need to thrive.

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