Care for underage, sick or injured animals who cannot immediately be adopted through our adoption program. Sign up for a foster class.
Thank you for your interest in fostering! We are currently looking for volunteers who can foster puppies and adult dogs; we have enough feline foster parents at this time. In addition to general dog foster parents, we are especially in need of volunteers who can foster large dogs who are 40+ lbs. A safe outdoor space is a plus!
To become a canine foster parent, click the “Become a Puppy Foster Parent” link below (for adult dog fosters, please attend the Puppy Foster Parent class). Read the FAQs, view upcoming orientation dates, and then sign up for an orientation session.
Questions? Email email@example.com.
We ask that you spend a minimum of 2 hours per day providing invaluable socialization
and care for your kittens/puppies.
A flexible schedule or varying schedule of household members is ideal for foster volunteering. That said, most SF SPCA foster volunteers do work full time and manage to care for their animals. We don’t recommend leaving foster animals unattended for more than 8-9 hours per day.
The SF SPCA requires foster volunteers to live within 45 minutes of the Mission District campus.
Foster kittens/puppies will need to be brought in for vaccine appointments every two weeks, and for additional medical appointments if they become ill.
Foster kittens/puppies are tiny and curious and must be kept in an enclosed space that can be easily sanitized, such as a bathroom or kitchen with a door. Additionally, foster animals must remain separate and isolated from resident pets at all times.
Foster puppies are prohibited from meeting any animals on the street or park. Because the puppies are not yet fully vaccinated, they are susceptible to contracting potentially fatal canine diseases that are present in the environment, such as Parvovirus. For this reason, they are also prohibited from walking on the ground outside the home.
Foster kittens/puppies do make a mess sometimes, and may have diarrhea and/or vomit if they become ill. Your space must also be sanitized between litters of foster animals. Additionally, they can ruin curtains, carpeting, and other household items.
Please understand that only our medical team can treat foster animals.
A kitten/puppy foster period is generally 2-4 weeks, depending on their age, weight, and health. When agreeing to take foster animals we ask that you commit to the entire duration. However, if an emergency or unforeseen situation does occur, you are able to return them to the SF SPCA.
It can be difficult to bring back animals once you have become emotionally attached, but there are always more who need a foster home!
This can be very difficult, but the sad truth is that, though rare, it occasionally happens.
Foster volunteering will provide both of these experiences in abundance!
If you answered “yes” to all these questions, then fostering might be a great volunteer opportunity for you.
To expedite the adoption process, please complete the cat or dog adoption form and bring a printed copy with you to the SF SPCA Adoption Center (Hours & Location). This helps us better understand what sort of pet you’re looking for so we can guide you every step of the way! Please bring a valid photo ID and verification that you are allowed to have a pet where you currently live.
First, we’ll meet with you to find out more about you and your pet preferences and answer your questions. Our goal is to help you find the pet that best fits your lifestyle and living situation so we want to make sure you have a realistic understanding of the time and resources necessary to provide training, medical treatment, and proper care for your new pet. This can take time so please allow at least one hour for the adoption process.
Once we have a good understanding of your living situation and the type of pet you’re interested in, we’ll make introductions and let you spend some quality time getting to know each other to see if there’s a love connection. It’s important that all household members take part in this important decision so please make sure everyone is present (including any resident dogs if you’re considering adding a new pooch to your pack).
Once love happens, we’ll complete the paperwork, review all the SF SPCA adoption benefits, provide information on any known medical or behavioral issues, and share tips to make the transition a success for both you and your new pet.
We consider you and your new furry friend a part of the SF SPCA family so please reach out with questions ― and be sure to share your adoption stories and pet photos at sfspca.org/stories
Don’t forget to schedule your first free health exam at the SF SPCA Veterinary Hospital within three days of adopting.