Foster a dog or cat this season!
By opening your home temporarily to a pet in need, you can save a life. We urgently need homes for dogs and cats, and providing a foster home, you’ll give a pet the love and safety she needs to find a forever home. Fostering is easy, too. We’ll match you up with a foster dog or cat who fits your schedule and lifestyle, and we’ll make sure you have everything you need to care for your temporary houseguest.
Hurry! These animals need fosters right away, so contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more or to find your perfect foster match.
Already signed up to foster but can't attend an in-person orientation? Watch it online now!
Can't foster but want to help? You can help by spreading the word and by donating to the Best Friends Lifesaving Center.
FAQs about fostering
What do foster families need to provide?
Foster families need to provide:
- A healthy and safe environment.
- Transportation to and from the Lifesaving Center (and, for kittens, Best Friends Kitten Nursery) located in Salt Lake City. Foster parents will need to be able to bring their foster animals regularly for vet appointments and vaccines at our Pet Adoption Center. In the case of dogs, we ask that you be able to bring them in at least twice a week to be available for adoption hours.
- Socialization, training and cuddle time to help teach your foster animal(s) about positive family and pet relationships.
How much time do I need to spend with my foster animal?
The more time you spend, the more socialized they will be. The amount of time required for feeding and training will vary depending on the age and needs of the individual animal. (Most kittens will be eating on their own, but should have wet food available several times a day.)
Will it cost me anything to foster?
No. Best Friends covers all of the medical costs for the care of our foster animals. We also provide any supplies needed during foster animals’ stay in your home. We have the following items available for foster homes: wet and dry food, litter, disposable litter boxes, potty pads, cleaning supplies, and toys.
Can I foster even if I have a full-time job?
Yes. The foster coordinator will match you with an animal appropriate for your schedule. We will need you to be available, however, to bring them in for vaccination and vet appointments and, for dogs, a few days a week to be seen by adopters.
Will I need to administer medications?
While we do our best to ensure that we are sending healthy animals to foster care, most illnesses have incubation periods, meaning that if the animal picked up something at the shelter, symptoms can arise after you take them home. Most kittens will require medication at some point and some adult cats and dogs require them from time tot ime. If your foster need medication, we are happy to show you how to administer it before you take them home.
Can I let my foster play with my personal pets?
For adult dogs and cats, it will depend on the individual animal. Our staff will do their best to match you with a foster that fits your home and lifestyle, including existing pets. It is often helpful for foster animals to be in a home with other pets.
Kittens are very susceptible to illness and can carry or catch dangerous ailments easily. For this reason, it is ideal that personal pets and foster animals are kept separate for the entire duration of their stay in your home. We also advise that you consult with your veterinarian before fostering to ensure that all of your personal pets are healthy and up-to-date on all vaccines. If, for any reason, your personal pet becomes ill while you are fostering a Best Friends pet, we cannot provide medical care for your personal pet.
Important note: If your personal cat is allowed outdoors, be very careful when it comes to germs and contamination. Kittens are very vulnerable to illness and we want to limit their risk by not exposing them to anything from the outdoors.
Will it be difficult for me to say goodbye to my foster animal?
Saying goodbye can be the most difficult part of fostering, but remember that we always have more homeless pets who need wonderful foster homes. Keep in mind that by fostering these vulnerable pets, you are playing a crucial role in helping to save lives! When your foster animals go up for adoption, you get a new foster animal, giving us space in the nursery or at our shelter partners to take in animals in need.
Can I foster animals to fulfill a community service obligation?
Unfortunately, Best Friends in Utah cannot sign off on court-ordered community service hours for fostering. Community service is required to be supervised work, and fostering is unsupervised, since it takes place in your home. If you need community service hours, on-site volunteering is an option.