San Diego Humane Society and SPCA

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Foster Volunteering

Temporarily opening your home to an animal is a special way to show your passion for helping animals. Many of the animals looking for foster homes face challenges that can best be overcome with the loving support of our fantastic foster volunteers. Foster homes also give us the ability to open up our kennels for even more animals in need.

As a foster volunteer you may host animals with special medical or behavioral needs, mother animals with nursing litters, or puppies and kittens under eight weeks of age who need special feeding and socialization. By fostering an animal you are providing rehabilitation in a nurturing home environment, directly preparing them for adoption into a forever home.

 

Foster FAQs

How do I submit an application?

Apply Here >


What are the requirements of becoming a foster pet-parent?

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must be able to lift, push, or carry at least 25 pounds.
  • You must own a car for transporting animal(s) to vet appointments, or evacuating them in case of an emergency.
  • All parties responsible for care of foster animal(s) must attend foster care training.
  • You must have a schedule that allows you to meet the needs of foster animals in your care.
  • You must provide proof from your veterinarian that all your household pets have current vaccinations or current titer testing.

Is it difficult to say good-bye?

Fosters definitely need the ability to say goodbye. Please remember that fostering is a temporary situation and letting go of one foster pet enables you to help another in need. Although each adoption saves a life, a great foster parent can save many lives by socializing and rehabilitating pets that need a little extra time and care to be ready for a forever home.


Can I adopt my foster animals?

We hope that our foster volunteers choose to open their homes as a demonstration of their deep commitment to making a difference in the lives of animals in need, but we understand that you may indeed fall in love and find the perfect companion for your family.

We discourage new fosters from joining the program simply to try out different animals before adopting. Losing foster homes has a negative impact on the number of animals we can help.


Will I need to provide food or supplies?

The San Diego Humane Society is proud to provide all the necessary training, supplies, and support you will need to care for your foster animals. This includes things like bowls, bedding, toys, and crates as well as bigger expenses like food, litter, medication, and veterinary services. You may be asked by the foster coordinator to purchase something small for your animal in an emergency. You will always be reimbursed for such requests.


Is there a time commitment?

The length of foster assignments varies based on the needs of the animal. You will receive an approximate duration before you commit to an animal. If you are unable to host the animal(s) for that length of time you are welcome to decline the assignment.


I found a litter of kittens. How do I find them foster homes?

Please see this page for more information on what to do if you have found an animal. Animals selected for foster homes are already in the care of the San Diego Humane Society.


Where do I pick up my foster animals?

You will pick up animals from the San Diego Humane Society campus closest to your home.

 
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