PAWS: Pre-Adoption Wellness Support

See Available PAWS Animals

The San Francisco SPCA Pre-adoption Wellness Support (PAWS) Program allows animals with a medical condition to spend their time recovering in your home rather than in the shelter.

One of the benefits of this program is that you get to foster the animal before making the decision to officially adopt. Animals in the PAWS Program remain under the care of our Shelter Medicine doctors and staff until they are ready for their forever home.

The San Francisco SPCA will cover all necessary medical management and costs prior to adoption. Our hope is that the animal finds their forever home with you! If it turns out the animal isn’t the right fit, that’s okay! They can return to the SF SPCA Mission Adoption Center to find their forever home.

If you are interested in learning more about PAWS or want to foster a PAWS animal, email


The SF SPCA’s PAWS Program allows animals who would otherwise spend their time recovering in the shelter get into their forever homes sooner. Animals remain under the care of our Shelter Medicine doctors and staff while being fostered in your home. If it seems like a good match, you can adopt after they have been medically cleared. If it is not the right fit, they can return to the shelter to find a different match.

  1. Landlord/roommate permission to care for an animal.
  2. Able to get to the SF SPCA within 45 minutes in an emergency.
  3. Able to schedule and keep medical and vaccine appointments.
  4. Able to provide proper confinement for the animal based on medical needs.
  5. Able to correspond quickly and clearly with the foster team.
  6. Additional requirements are individual to the animal.

SF SPCA will cover all necessary medical management and cost prior to official adoption. SF SPCA veterinarians will make all medical decisions for the animal.

Foster parents are not allowed to withhold, change dose or frequency of medication prescribed out from our veterinarians. If you have a question or concern, email the foster team at

If you would like to take over responsibility for medical care, including costs, please email foster and let us know.

Yes, but we ask that you have a flexible schedule to come in for appointments and possible emergencies. Typically, medical appointments occur at the Mission campus from 10-5pm Monday –Saturday. 

Food, medical care, crates and xpens needs for confinement (as needed).

It depends on the animal and the situation. Please ask a foster staff member. Most likely small puppies and kittens cannot interact with resident animals.

Foster parents are responsible for scheduling their own appointments by calling 415-554-3084. The foster team will let you know when they are due for appointment at their pick up.

Currently Available PAWS Animals

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