Become a Foster

We depend on our network of foster homes to help us care for animals who need a little extra attention.

Fast-track to fostering.

Fostering can be fun, rewarding, and incredibly heart-warming.

Apply

Complete our foster application for the animal you would like to foster.

Welcome Packet

Once approved, our team will send you a Welcome Packet for you to review.

Onboarding

Watch the onboarding videos and let us know if you have questions. Once complete, you are good to go!

Foster Requirements

Help us save lives by providing a temporary, loving and restful retreat for animals in need.  We provide all of the supplies, food and medical attention, so there is no cost to you as a foster parent… all you provide is love! 

Fostering FAQs

We like to make fostering as easy as possible for those interested, and have a few requirements to qualify. All foster parents do need to be 18 years or older. All of our foster parents interested in fostering puppies & kittens must live within a 30-minute drive to our campus, and anyone interested in fostering adult animals must live within a 45-minute drive. Lastly, we require all of our foster parents to have their own reliable transportation (Uber & Lyft not applicable)

Becoming a foster parent may seem overwhelming, but fear not! It’s quick and easy! Simply submit a foster interest form on this page, and, once approved, we will be in touch with you shortly to get the ball rolling! We are always happy to talk with you in person about the program should you just happen to stop by, however, all pick-up appointments need to be scheduled in advance to allow us time to properly prepare.

There are a lot of foster parents who have their own personal pets. We always request and recommend that all foster animals are kept in a separate quarantine space away from pets in the home to make certain we are taking every precaution to keep potential diseases your foster pet may have contained to one room in the home. Illnesses can take up to 14 days to become apparent, so after a full two weeks in your home, we’ll give your foster pet a thorough physical exam to determine if they qualify to be released from quarantine. Unfortunately, AHS is not licensed to provide any medical diagnosis or treatment to owned animals. We will always let you know if we suspect your foster pet to have any illness at the time of pick-up so you are fully aware of potential risks to your personal pets.

Our foster program focuses on animals who are too young, sick, or scared to be ready for adoption. This includes, but is not limited to, puppies & kittens (with or without their mother), animals with skin/medical conditions, animals waiting for or recovering from medical procedures, and animals who need help building their confidence and/or proper manners around people. Typically, healthy animals that are ready for adoption are not candidates for foster.

Once you are registered as a foster parent, you’ll receive a link to a real-time webpage that has pictures & information about which animals are currently in need of foster care. Once you see an animal you are interested in fostering, simply reach out to us to request more information & to schedule a pick-up appointment!

Once your pet has received a clean bill of health from our medical technician, they will be ready to return to our adoption center to be adopted. If your foster animal has already been spayed/neutered, we’ll have them return to the adoption center as soon as we have an available space for them (sometimes same-day). If your foster animal still needs to be spayed/neutered, we’ll get them scheduled for that surgery & have them return to us the night before. They’ll head to surgery early the next morning, and return to AHS for adoption the day after their surgery. The foster team will always try to give you a heads-up of when you can expect to return your foster animal(s).

We will happily provide all basic care supplies for your foster animal for its duration in foster care. The only exception to this is that we do request our small animal fosters to provide the daily fresh vegetables their animal requires.

No – we actually require all medical care given to any foster animal to be administered by our medical team here on campus. You should never take your foster pet to your personal veterinarian for any reason. If AHS determines that your foster animal requires a medical procedure to be done by an outside veterinarian, AHS will arrange this and cover these costs. 

This depends on the reason your foster animal requires foster care, but 6-8 weeks is an average amount of time needed by most animals. Generally, we ask for a commitment of at least 2 weeks, however, there are times when weekend respite fosters are needed or an animal may only need a few days in foster care. If you are unable to keep your foster pet for the entirety of its time needed in foster care, that’s not a problem! We can work with you to find an animal in need that fits your timeline of availability.

Unfortunately, no. However, we are always happy to discuss individual animals’ needs & behavior information with you prior to scheduling a pick-up appointment to ensure we’re doing all we can to make a good match. If you are interested in fostering a dog and would like a dog meet between the potential foster & your resident dog, we can always arrange for that to happen. We do not facilitate dog-cat or cat-cat meetings.

That’s great! We always love hearing that a foster animal has a home waiting for it. In most cases, foster parents get first right of refusal for adopting their foster animal. There are some situational exceptions to this rule, but you’ll always be informed if the animal has an adopter waiting for it at the time of pick-up. If you have a friend or family member interested in adopting, we do require that they have met the animal & spent time with them to ensure the personalities are a good match. Once they have met the animal and have decided they want to adopt, simply reach out to the foster department ASAP to let them know, and they’ll guide you from there!

That’s not a problem at all – we definitely understand that life happens and not all matches are going to be good ones. Just let the foster department know ASAP of the situation, and we’ll work with you to get the foster animals returned to us as quickly as we can. You are never “stuck” with a foster animal.

Are you a current foster parent?

We work diligently to equip every potential foster family with the knowledge they need to be successful. If you have other questions, contact us, and we will be happy to answer any other questions!

Shop and save lives.

If you are not able to foster an animal at this time but still want to help animals in need, consider donating something from our Amazon Wishlist. These items are immediately put to use to save the lives of vulnerable animals in urgent need.

Amazon Wishlist

You can help animals in foster care at ANY time, by ordering much-needed supplies from our Amazon Wishlist. It only takes a few clicks to make a big impact!

Meet our foster team.

Evie Schenkel

Foster Care Manager
Evie has always wanted to work for AHS. After graduating college, she was hired as the Customer Service Coordinator. A few years later, she became the Foster Care Manager. While it's not always rainbows and butterflies (trust us, there's plenty of poop involved!), she can't imagine doing anything outside of animal welfare. Evie shares her life with her fiance, dog, two horses, several fish, a leopard gecko, and a frog. Fun fact: "I like to spend my time hiking, gardening and letting my inner nerd out by playing some D&D with friends!"

Mallory Uzel

Foster Medical Assistant
Mallory started her animal welfare career volunteering in DC and found her passion working in the medical department. She has loved helping build our foster program into the tremendous force for good it is, working with our foster parents, and teaching additional skills to help ensure our animals are getting the best care possible! Fun fact: "I enjoy fly fishing, hiking with my dog, or spending time with my cat. I also have an aquarium with adopted fish from AHS and even an adopted hermit crab."

Erin Waters

Foster Assistant
Erin is a mom to 4 humans, Mimi to 1 mini human, and mom to 5 fur babies. She also takes care of her mom and tries to fit in time for her husband, all while making sure she plays matchmaker for all the foster families. Fun fact: "During my free time (what's that), I love to cook and try amazing new recipes while posting videos of the yumminess online."