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 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 or injury

Regardless of the need, the benefits are endless! Can you open your home to a DCHS animal and provide the temporary loving care they need?

What Do Foster Families Provide?

Foster parents are asked to provide supplies (treats, toys, litter, bedding), transportation and love, of course, for their foster animals. Any needed medication, 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 animals.

Read About Fostering from Current Volunteer Fosters!

Steps to Becoming a Foster Family

If you would like to join this life-saving team of Companion Animal Foster volunteers, please follow the steps below.

Foster Application

Essential Job Requirements Inventory

Check Your Email

Attend Virtual Foster Family Orientation

Special Foster Opportunity: SAAV Foster

Sheltering Animals of Abuse Victims (SAAV) is a nonprofit that provides a unique foster opportunity through a collaboration with DCHS and Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS). Foster parents are asked to confidentially foster the animals of domestic abuse victims for up to 90 days. 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 specific services from DAIS at the time of application to SAAV. 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 apply to become a SAAV Foster.

SAAV Foster Application

For more information, please contact the Foster Care Team

Phone: (608) 838-0413 ext. 149

Fax: (608) 838-0368


Looking for Foster Care for your Pet?

DCHS is partnering with Home To Home™ to offer services to our community. Through this online pet placement platform, you can connect directly with community members interested in opening their homes to local pets though temporary foster care or adoption. The platform works by allowing an individual to post a profile with pictures of their pet which is then listed and shared with individuals and families who are interested in fostering a pet. Their mission is to keep animals out of shelters and instead have them rehomed with loving neighbors. Learn more about Home To Home™ and list your pet here.

Resources for Current Foster Parent Ambassadors