• parrot at the dubuque regional humane society

Fostering Critters

Once in a while, the Dubuque Regional Humane Society (DRHS) receives what we endearingly call "critters". These may include but are not limited to:

  • Small mammals including hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, chinchillas, sugar gliders, ferrets, etc.
  • Reptiles including non-venomous snakes, lizards, iguanas, turtles/tortoise, iguanas, etc.
  • Birds including parrots, finches, canaries, parakeets, doves, ducks, chickens, etc.
  • Other mammals including pot bellied pigs.

We are not able to accept the following animals at our shelter:

  • Horses, cows, goats, and other animals deemed as livestock or otherwise not legal within city limits.
  • Wildlife including but not limited to skunks, raccoons, wild rabbits, opossums, etc.
  • Exotic animals including venomous snakes, prohibited reptiles, large cats, bears, monkeys, etc.

Critters come to our shelter for a variety of reasons. It is not often they need to be placed in a foster program, however, the following reasons may justify the need for foster care:

  • Health/Medical rehabilitation
  • Behavior modification (plucking feathers, self-destructive behaviors, etc.)
  • Socialization
  • Lack of room or adequate space/facility accommodations

Should a critter be placed in foster care, all supplies would be provided for the care of that specific animal including:

Cages, tanks/aquariums, heat lamps, food and food bowls, water bottles and dishes, bedding, hiding boxes, toys/chew blocks, and whatever else may be needed for that specific animal.

Unlike dogs and cats, we do not vaccinate critters or have a specific medical schedule or requirements. Therefore, it is especially important that our foster families keep a close eye on their health.

Health and medical things to keep an eye out for include but are not limited to:

  • Lethargy
  • Labored or abnormal breathing
  • Plucking feathers (could be mites or other health issues)
  • Skin/fur abnormalities
  • Difficulties shedding (reptiles)
  • Abnormal feces, urine
  • Eye discharge, redness, or other abnormalities

Should any health issues arise, it is the responsibility of the foster family to contact the Foster Coordinator and/or the DRHS veterinary staff as soon as possible so the medical needs can be addressed.

Contact Us


4242 Chavenelle Road
Dubuque, IA 52002




Tuesday - Thursday: 11 AM to 5 PM
Friday: 11 AM to 7 PM
Saturday & Sunday: 11 AM to 5 PM
Monday: Closed

Hadley's Dog Park

Member's Only
Operating Hours:
6 AM - 8 PM
Decorative Rabbit in website footer