Foster Care – Brandywine Valley SPCA


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

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Save Lives Today

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 timeframes 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 timeframe and pets to your unique situation. Shelter animals go into foster homes for a variety of reasons including being too young to be in the shelter or just needing a break from kennel life. The shelter provides all necessary supplies to care for your foster animal along with all the training necessary to succeed.

Fostering FAQ

What's the process to become a foster?
First, we ask all potential foster families to fill out our foster application (linked at the top of 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!

What kind of fostering opportunities are there?
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
Where do the animals in need of foster come from?
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 the country with more available animals than potential adopters
Can I foster if I have a full-time job?
Absolutely! Our foster program has opportunities for just about any work schedule.
What does fostering offer pets?
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.

How long do foster terms last?
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.
Can I allow foster pets to interact with my resident pets?
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 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!
What am I financially responsible for while fostering?
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.
What happens if I want to adopt my foster pet?
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 arranged 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.