Foster a Dog or Cat
Why is Pet Fostering Important?
By opening up their homes to animals for short periods of time, foster families provide more room at the Center and allow us to take in more animals. Ultimately, our foster families enable us to save more lives and help more animals in need. Thanks to the tireless dedication of our incredible foster families, Helen Woodward Animal Center was able to place more than 3,300 orphan animals into loving forever homes in the last year! Would you like to join this team and open up your home and heart to orphan pets?
Apply online to become a pet foster.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a pet foster parent? While these animals are waiting on the above items before they can go up for adoption, they also get necessary socialization and love to help ease the transition into their forever home.
An animal lover who generously volunteers to open their home to orphan pets until these pets are ready for adoption.
Why would an orphan pet need fostering?
• Too young
• Not yet up to date on vaccines
• Waiting to be spayed or neutered
• Undergoing medical treatment or recovering from a medical procedure
What sort of animals will I be fostering
• Puppies are typically sent out to foster homes in groups of 2 or 3. Puppies can be left home alone for a maximum of 4 hours per day.
• Kittens are often sent out to foster homes in groups of 2-4. Kittens can be left home alone for a maximum of 6 hours per day.
• Adult dogs or cats can be left home alone for a maximum of 8 hours.
• Pregnant or nursing moms with babies need a peaceful, quiet and safe place. Mom does almost all of the work caring for the babies! Once the babies are old enough to wean onto solid food (at 4-6 weeks), you assist in this transition. Canine families can be left home alone for a maximum of 4 hours per day. Feline families can be left home alone for a maximum of 6 hours per day.
• Neonatal kittens and puppies are extremely vulnerable to disease, so a foster home is the safest place for them. They require around the clock care and bottle feeding every 2-4 hours.
How long will I be fostering a pet?
• Puppies and kittens: 1-3 weeks
• Adult dogs and cats: 1-2 weeks
• Pregnant/nursing dogs and cats with babies: 2-3 months
What is provided to pet foster parents?
• All supplies needed to care for foster pets (food, bowls, toys, blankets, etc.)
• All medical care (vaccines, check-ups, spay/neuter surgeries, etc.)
While these animals are waiting on the above items before they can go up for adoption, they also get necessary socialization and love to help ease the transition into their forever home.
How To Get Started with Pet Fostering
To apply to become a Helen Woodward Animal Center foster parent, click here to submit an online application.
You can also download the application and bring it to the Center, fax it to 858-756-0605 or mail it to this address:
Helen Woodward Animal Center
Attention: Foster Department
P.O. Box 64
Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067