Foster a shelter pet!
Fostering — temporarily opening your home to an animal in need — offers the one-on-one attention and loving comfort that only a home setting can offer, which is precisely what some of our animals need.
What are the requirements of becoming a foster pet-parent?
- The main volunteer for the family must be at least 18 years old (have this person complete the application). Under 18 but want to get involved? Check out our DIY page or Youth Services page!
- Reliable transportation for transporting animal(s) to vet appointments or evacuating them in case of an emergency.
- A schedule that allows you to meet the needs of foster animals in your care - there are many options!
- Completion of online training prior to fostering your first pet.
Do you train me how to care for my foster pet?
We do! All training is virtual and accessible in your volunteer record after your receive our welcome email, typically within one week of applying! Throughout the year, additional hands on training is offered for bottle feeding assignments.
Can I adopt my foster animals?
Yes! We love when our foster families fall in love with their foster pet and choose to adopt! However, if your goal is ultimately to adopt, it is unnecessary to foster the animal first because we have an Adoption Guarantee! If you adopt and then need to return your adopted animal for whatever reason, you can do so by just giving us a call. So there’s no need to foster an animal as a "test run". Read more here about our adoption process!
Is it difficult to say goodbye?
Yes, it can be. Fosters definitely need the ability to say goodbye, but rest assured our Foster team will help you through it. 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.
Is there a set time commitment?
The length of foster assignments varies based on the needs of the animal. You will receive an approximate assignment duration before you commit to an animal. Some of our youngest foster animals need around-the-clock care, including feedings every 2-3 hours, while other foster animals can be left at home for up to 10 hours at a time. We will match you with a foster assignment that works with your schedule, availability and interests.
Where do I pick up my foster animals?
You will be given options of animals from a variety of locations and will pick up animals from the campus where the animal is located. We have campuses in San Diego, Oceanside and Escondido, so you can select animals at the locations that are most convenient for you.
Will I need to provide food or supplies?
Supplies are a shared responsibility of San Diego Humane Society and each foster home; specific supply needs will be discussed for each foster assignment. If you would like to prepare your own foster kit, or donate to the Foster Care supply, please visit our Amazon Wish List for frequently needed supplies.
What do other fosters have to say?
"Being a first time foster mom to two kittens so small (9 days old) was daunting at first, but within a day their need for me outweighed my reservations over what I was capable of. I can't believe I've had them for a week already! I'm so looking forward to getting them all set for their future homes."
Queens and kits: