500 Legacy Farms North, Hopkinton MA 01748 508-435-6938

Learn how giving a temporary home to a dog or cat in need gives them the very best chance at being successfully adopted.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fostering

What types of dogs need foster homes?

Usually we need foster homes for dogs who are tougher to adopt. They may need some help with behavioral issues. For example, some dogs may need help learning to walk on a leash or gaining other skills that will improve their chances of adoption. Other dogs who benefit from fostering are those who are scared or shut down when they're in the shelter. Those dogs will do much better if they can have a calm home where they can live temporarily until they find a forever home. 

We also need foster homes for dogs with medical issues. You may be asked to give regular medication or provide additional TLC while a dog is recovering from an illness or injury. 

What types of cats need foster homes?

We often need foster homes for pregnant mother cats. In that case, you'd care for the mother cat before she gave birth, and then care for her and her kittens until they're old enough to be adopted. We also need fosters who can care for orphaned kittens who are too young and medically fragile to be in the shelter. 

When do you need foster families?

Foster needs for adult dogs or cats can arise anytime during the year. We also have a high need for foster families during cat/kitten season, which runs from March to November. 

What is the ideal foster home for dogs?

Our most pressing need is for adult-only homes with no other pets. However, we do have some dogs who will benefit from living in a foster home with another dog. Fostering experience isn't required, but dog experience is best. Any positive training experience is a bonus. 

What is the ideal foster home for cats/kittens?

The ideal foster home for cats/kittens is one where someone is not away more than six hours a day.

Can I foster if I have children?

In some cases, yes. It depends on the particular dog or cat. 

Can I foster if a have other pets?

Yes, depending on the situation. Some animals will do best as the only pet in their temporary home while others are fine with other pets. For their safety, we do ask that your pets are up-to-date on vaccinations before you bring home a foster dog or cat.

What are my financial obligations as a foster family?

We cover the cost of any veterinary bills through our veterinarian, and are happy to provide additional supplies like dog crates, leashes, etc. We greatly appreciate it if foster families can provide food and litter (for cats). However, we are able to provide some food if there is a financial need.

How long will I be asked to foster a dog or cat?

The timeframe varies greatly. We may need a foster for a few weeks or for several months or longer.

Can I pick which dog or cat I foster?

The majority of our dogs and cats are adopted quickly from the shelter and don't need a foster home. Typically the animals who need foster homes are those who are tougher to adopt. Your work as a foster will be giving them the love and attention they need to thrive, and to find a new home. 

Do I have to take any animal you’d like me to foster?

No. We want to make sure it’s a good fit for you and your family. When we have dogs, cats, or kittens in need of foster, we’ll contact you to check on your current availability and to ensure that you’re comfortable with the exact situation.

What if I want to adopt my foster pet?

Fantastic! In most cases, that's a wonderful option. You're under no obligation to adopt your foster pet, but if you decide that it's something you want to do, please let us know.

What happens after I submit my foster application?

We'll read your application, call with any questions, check your references, and confirm with your vet that your animals are up-to-date on their shots.***

Fill out our cat/kitten foster application.

***Due to the incredible response of our community and the outpouring of support for our dog foster program, we have temporarily taken down our dog foster application. We do, however, always have a need for experienced adult only homes with no other pets. If you fit that profile we would love to speak with you. Please email us at foster@baypathhumane.org. Thank you.