Why we foster pets…

We foster pets to save their lives. We foster pets because they have never known love. We foster pets because we are animal lovers. We foster pets because we cannot afford a pet of our own but we want pets in our life. We foster pets because we know the statistics, the number of pets euthanized in the US each day, each week, each month, each year – and we want to do our part. We foster pets because we love puppies and kittens.

Whatever your reason for fostering… we all foster pets as a concrete and physical way to help solve the pet over-population problem one (or two or three) pet(s) at a time!

How to choose the right rescue or shelter for you…

Whatever your reason for fostering pets, you are saving a life. Whatever rescue or shelter you choose to work with – you are making a difference.

There are SO MANY rescues and shelters in desperate need of fosters; you can start on our Foster Program page to find rescues and shelters near you. If there are many rescues in your area, you can do a bit more research on their Facebook pages and websites to find a rescue who’s mission and work you support.

  • Are you interested in helping shelter dogs in your city or do you want to help solve the overpopulation problem in rural states by working with a rescue that pulls from high kill rural shelters?
  • Are you interested in working with a group that holds lots of fundraisers because your marketing background can allow you to help them in other ways down the road?
  • Are you interested in working with a large group or a small group?
  • Many rescues are 100% volunteer run, while shelters and some rescues have a paid staff; do you want to work for a group where all donations go straight to the pets, or do you want to work for a rescue that is a well-oiled machine with staff members to offer more support to their fosters?
  • Are you interested in donating supplies or would you rather be provided all supplies for your foster pets?

There are many more questions you can (and should) ask a rescue or shelter when deciding who you’d like to work with. Each rescue or shelter has a unique foster program – check out our Rescue Questionnaire page for a list of potential questions to think about and ask!

How to pro-actively keep resident pets healthy while fostering…

Prior to taking in your first foster pet(s), all resident pets should be up to date on vaccinations and annual physical exams.

  • DOGS – Rabies, distemper, bordatella, flea and tick “plus” treatment (“plus” treatments include various parasites)
  • CATS – Rabies, distemper, and flea and tick treatment if fosters come straight from a shelter/kennel environment

These are the “core” vaccinations plus bordatella – all pets in every home should be up to date on core vaccines, but especially homes where fosters with potentially unknown health problems join the family. Bordatella is especially important if you have resident pups and will be fostering dogs as kennel cough is so common in shelter environments. PLEASE, don’t let possible health issues be a deterrent to fostering – there are many ways to prevent cross-contamination of unhealthy pets! I have fostered over 200 pets in my home, and my fully vaccinated pets have never had problems from my fosters! There are many other vaccinations available for dogs, including leptosporosis, Lyme disease, and various strains of the dog flu. There are also additional vaccinations for cats. You should discuss additional vaccinations with your vet, prior to taking in your first foster pet!


Some rescues and shelters provide an “ISO” program (especially for dogs), where pets spend their first two weeks after intake in isolation – either in a kennel or foster home – to treat for worms, fleas and ticks, kennel cough, or any other common and treatable ailments. If you have serious concerns about health issues in your resident pets, you can search for a group that offers ISO fostering prior to long-term foster placement. If you are a dog- or cat-less household, you can offer to provide ISO fostering – a MUCH NEEDED service to rescues and shelters as they rehabilitate sick pets or treat for common ailments!