Fostering is an amazing way to help a shelter animal without committing to adopting.

Smooth the way to a forever home for a homeless animal

Help infants

Our most fragile shelter residents need love and socialization.

Support medical recovery

Recovery goes so much better in a home than in the shelter.

Aid in socialization

They can't tell their stories, but we know they need us.

Provide a break

Time away from the shelter reduces stress and increases adoptability.

Featured Foster Pets

Cherry Mango

Due to new restrictions put in place by the state, this dog can only be adopted by residents of Delaware. These new restrictions were put in place on July 12th, and are set to stay in place for 30 da…

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Adorable little Molly lost her home and is eager to find a new forever! She will warm up to you when she knows you are a friend. Molly was very good with kids in her last home. Please come meet Molly…

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Due to new restrictions put in place by the state, this dog can only be adopted by residents of Delaware. These new restrictions were put in place on July 12th, and are set to stay in place for 30 da…

Learn more

We’re saving more babies than ever, and one of the best ways for you to help is to become a foster.

Fosters can watch infant puppies and kittens grow to adoption age, as well as older animals who need time to socialize or recover after medical procedures.

Foster time frames range from two weeks to two months. We provide you with all of the supplies you need, and we’ll work with you to tailor the time frame and pets to your unique situation.

Foster care application

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Frequently Asked Questions

First, we ask all potential foster families to fill out our foster application, which can be found above on this page. Once we’ve received your application, the Lifesaving Coordinator from the BVSPCA Campus closest to you will reach out via email or phone to begin the onboarding process. All potential foster families must then attend a virtual foster orientation. After completing orientation, you’ll officially be eligible to take in foster pets. Our Lifesaving Coordinators put out pleas for pets in need of fostering through email and in our BVSPCA Fosters Facebook Group. When you’re ready, tell your Lifesaving Coordinator you can take in a pet or group of pets they’ve asked about!

All ages and types of shelter pets can be in need of fostering, including:

  • Cats and dogs that are too young for adoption

  • Pregnant/nursing moms and babies

  • Adult cats and dogs needing time to recover medically, for socialization or as a break from the shelter

BVSPCA’s shelter pets come from a variety of sources, including:

  • Stray dogs brought in from Delaware’s Office of Animal Welfare and BVSPCA’s Animal Protective Services Division in Chester & Delaware Counties

  • Ill or injured stray cats or kittens

  • Pets saved from neglectful or cruel conditions in their former homes

  • Pets surrendered by their owners

  • Pets transported to us from areas across the country with more available animals than potential adopters

Absolutely! Our foster program has opportunities for just about any work schedule.

Foster families provide an important service for animals that need additional care beyond the shelter environment, including:

  • Affection and proper socialization

  • Physical and mental stimulation

Additionally, foster families are expected to provide a safe and healthy environment for their foster pets and must transport them to and from the shelter for veterinary treatment.

The foster length varies based on the animal and the reason for foster care. On average we ask for a commitment of a few weeks.

We do not recommend exposing foster animals to your personal pets unless the BVSPCA has instructed you to do so. Pets placed in foster care may be too young to be fully vaccinated or may have other medical concerns. Other foster pets may not have interacted with other animals before, and we can’t be fully sure how they will react. However, many foster animals display behaviors in a home that we do not observe in a shelter environment, often in a positive way. Foster homes can let true personalities shine through!

BVSPCA will provide you with all of the necessary tools for foster success. This may include veterinary care, food, medications, and a carrier or crate. You may choose to personally purchase toys, treats, or any other miscellaneous items for your foster animal. If there are other specific supplies you believe you may need for your foster animal, please reach out to the foster coordinator.

If you decide you would like to adopt your foster pet, please alert your Lifesaving Coordinator right away. Since most pets being fostered are not immediately available for adoption, arrangements for adoption may need to be made at the end of the foster term. Once the animal is old enough or large enough, you will need to finalize the adoption with an adoption counselor during open shelter hours.

Our fosters are heroes

This mastiff-sized dog arrived weighing only 20 pounds. Even worse were the heartbreaking flinches that showed he’d been abused. Despite all of that, he yearned for love. Thanks to a kind-hearted foster, Lakota nearly doubled in weight, and his spirit soared. He went on to find a loving family that included another mastiff.

Give back to your community

Open the door to endless possibilities. Together, we will create positive change within our community, help control the homeless animal population and improve the lives of pets and their families.

Foster events & resources

7 myths about shelter dogs debunked

The ASPCA estimates that nearly one million dogs are euthanized in shelters simply because they could not find a home. Shelter dogs make just as good pets as dogs you can find from anywhere else. Her…
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Raising kittens

Kitten raising guide for foster parents
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Fearful foster cats

Protocol for working with fearful cats in foster homes
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