Is Fostering Right for Me?​

We ask that you spend a minimum of two 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 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.

Puppies, much like human babies, often do not sleep through the night. They may be up “crying” in the wee hours for 20 minutes (or longer), which can make it difficult to sleep if they are in close proximity to your bedroom. This is something to discuss with family members and roommates ahead of time.

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. 

Ready to Get Started?

Attend an in-person meeting before applying to volunteer.
Click below to view upcoming dates and RSVP.