Fostering a Pet
If you have a place in your heart and home for animals—but you’re not prepared to adopt—consider fostering for the Dumb Friends League. Our Homes with Hearts foster care program lets animal lovers bring pets from our shelters into their homes on a temporary basis to prepare them for adoption.
We know it can sometimes be a challenging experience – in the love you invest, the commitment it takes, and, eventually, in saying goodbye to a pet that you’ve nurtured for an extended period of time. But know that what you do matters. Every pet that’s fostered has a better chance at a happier and healthier life ahead with a forever family.
To get started:
- View our video to learn more about how animal lovers like you find the program meaningful and rewarding!
- Apply online
After orientation, you'll fill out an application, pass a home inspection, and be on your way to bringing your foster pet home in no time! And, to support your experience, we offer ongoing classes on caring for kittens, cats, puppies and dogs, and access to our behavior counselors whenever you need them.
What You Can Expect
- Animals in need
As a foster parent, you may give a mother cat and her kittens a place to live until the kittens are old enough for the entire family to return to the shelter for adoption. You could care for a cat with an upper respiratory infection until he feels better, or help rehabilitate a dog with a broken leg that is healing. You might take home a rabbit to make room for new arrivals in our small-mammals area. We have lots of animals that need your care, especially older cats who truly benefit by spending time away from the shelter before they find their forever homes.
- Supplies and care
We furnish all the supplies you need, including food, litter, bedding, toys and enrichment items, and medical care. Foster parents are responsible for traveling to and from the shelters for medical care and foster care appointments. The frequency of appointments varies depending on the reason an animal is being fostered.
Fostering may last anywhere from two weeks to several months, depending on the pet’s needs.
- Opportunities – no matter your age!
Foster parents are adults age 18 or older, or youths from 12-17. Our Junior Foster Parent program provides an opportunity for young people to gain hands-on experience with the responsibilities involved in caring for animals.
If you'd like to contribute to the foster program by making a donation, click here. Through generous donations, we've been able to place almost 3,000 pets in foster care this year.