Foster families open their hearts and homes to animals who are in need of temporary care outside of the shelter environment until they are ready to come back and be placed up for adoption. These compassionate people play a vital role in the life of that animal and help to ensure successful adoptions. In short, foster families save lives!

Who needs foster care?

Many of our cats, dogs and critters benefit from foster care for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Animals in need of socialization or behavior modification
  • Animals too young to go up for adoption
  • Pregnant or brand new moms in need of a safe place to raise and wean their litter
  • Animals in need of relief from the stress of shelter life
  • Animals in need of a quiet and safe home to be treated for or recover from illness/injury

What Do Foster Families Provide?

Foster parents are asked to provide food, supplies (treats, toys, litter, bedding), transportation and love, of course, for their foster animals. Any needed medication, prescription food or health care will be provided by DCHS.

The length of stay in foster care can vary from a few weeks to several months, depending on the animal's specific needs. Homes that are able to take fosters on a consistent basis help out the most, but even homes that can take only a couple fosters a year can be a big help for the shelter's special needs animals.

SAAV Foster Program

The SAAV Program (Sheltering Animals of Abuse Victims) is a unique foster opportunity. Foster parents are asked to confidentially foster the animals of domestic abuse victims. By offering foster care, foster parents increase the chances that a victim will seek help without fear of leaving their animals behind.

SAAV’s shelter services are provided to victims in Dane County who are receiving services from DAIS (Domestic Abuse Intervention Services) at the time of intake into our program. SAAV also provides nationwide community education regarding the link between domestic abuse and animal cruelty.

Please fill out this additional form if you would like to participate with our SAAV Program.

SAAV Foster Application

For more information, please contact the Foster Care Team

Phone: (608) 838-0413 ext. 149

Fax: (608) 838-0368

dchsfoster@giveshelter.org