Fostering is a great way to volunteer and to have hands-on contact with the animals outside of the shelter environment. You can have the flexibility of providing a home for a limited time, helping pets in a way that doesn’t require a lifetime commitment.

Fostering a dog, puppy, cat, or kitten from the animal shelter is a temporary arrangement, designed to give certain animals a home environment in which to mature, recover from an illness or injury, or to become more socialized. Sometimes foster is used as temporary housing for highly adoptable animals when the shelter is overcrowded, or when the animal is awaiting transfer to a rescue organization.

Fostering is not a “trial adoption” and foster animals still belong to the Humane Society, not the volunteer. Foster volunteers must plan from the outset to return the animal for adoption. Other situations may also arise, especially when dealing with very young or fragile animals, which require the foster volunteer to deal with illness, death, or euthanasia of a foster animal. Foster volunteers may elect to return the animal at any time that fostering becomes overwhelming or they are unable to continue for any reason.

A foster volunteer is expected to feed, socialize, groom, introduce basic training, and medicate as needed. Food should be appropriate for species and age of the pet; we will provide food or reimburse you for food purchased. Your home should be pet-proofed as fully as possible. Fostering is not recommended for people with children under 6. Children of all ages should be supervised when first interacting with a new animal, for the child’s safety as well as the animal’s. remember that the goal of the foster program is to provide a safe, nurturing temporary environment for a homeless animal until a permanent placement can be made.


  • Carefully read all information on Foster Volunteer Program
  • Fill out a foster volunteer application and bring it to the shelter
  • Allow a home visit by a HSNC representative
  • Sign foster volunteer agreement and comply with its terms

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