Fostering Saves Lives

Why Foster?

Simply put: Foster homes save lives. As an open-admission, truly No-Kill shelter, we are always at capacity. So it only takes one big intake day, or a hoarding case, or the seasonal peaks we see with kitten season and before holidays, for us to find ourselves in a space crisis. On any given day, we have more than 200 animals in foster homes…and we need more. Without the open hearts and homes of our foster families–we couldn’t give each animal the second chance they deserve.


You can make an immeasurable impact by opening your home and your heart to an animal in need. Fostering is also a great opportunity to introduce a pet into your home without making a lifelong commitment. Many of our foster humans end up adopting their fostered animals, but many also choose to just provide the temporary shelter and love our animals need to get through a trying time.

  • 01.

    How to Become a Foster

    If you’re interested in a more time-intensive and higher-commitment volunteer opportunity, our foster program might be the right fit for you. Please complete our foster application, and we’ll see if we have an animal that meets your specifications.

  • 02.

    Foster Friends In Need

    We need foster homes for nursing mothers, animals under eight weeks of age, and those recovering from injury and illness. Some of our more urgent foster needs include:

    • Felines suffering from upper respiratory infections
    • Motherless kittens who need to be bottle fed to survive
    • Pregnant animals
    • Cats and dogs with serious injuries
    • Heartworm positive dogs
    • Senior pets who are depressed and stop eating in a shelter environment
    • Long-time shelter residents who are beginning to decline physically or mentally
    • Opening up space during high-capacity times
    • Dogs in need of rehabilitation for behavior challenges (Seasoned fosters only.)

    HSHC will pay for all associated foster care expenses if that’s what it takes to get an animal into a healthier environment. This includes everything from medical care to general supplies like food, litter, toys and crate. We do certainly appreciate our fosters who are willing to take on those general expenses for food and litter as it helps our dollars go that much farther (not to mention those expenses are tax-deductible!)

  • 03.

    Fostering Makes All the Difference

    As much as we try to make our animals comfortable at the shelter, the environment is stressful — the noise, the smells, the other animals. For some animals, it’s just too much.

    Often, dogs and cats in shelters exhibit stress behaviors they never would in a home. Their stress builds the longer they remain in the shelter out of boredom, loneliness and lack of exercise. Some stop eating. Some become reactive. And some simply give up. That’s why foster homes are so critical. Not only are you offering the love and peace an animal needs to recover from an illness or injury, but you’re providing a safe haven while they wait for a forever home.

  • 04.

    Know Your Limitations

    Every person’s living situation is different, and not every home is the right fit for every animal. Think through the kinds of conditions and issues you’re willing to take on in a foster animal — behavioral, health-related, emotional, etc.

    If you work long hours, a foster puppy may need more care than you can provide. If you have other animals, foster pets with certain medical or behavioral issues should be avoided. But, the good news is that every home is uniquely suited for a certain foster animal. We’ll help you find the right match!

Foster Testimonial

About Lisa's Experience

“Some dogs don’t adapt well to the shelter environment. They become anxious, depressed, withdrawn, and some completely shut down and stop eating. Fostering these dogs is life-saving. Once they are in a loving home environment,  you can see their fears subside over time and their personality starts to bloom.”

  • We have loved fostering with the HSHC as it allows us to get our FIX of extra fur while also feeling useful and helpful to an animal in need.

    Christy Baugh

  • Sometimes through fostering you fall deeply in love and realize an animal’s forever home is actually yours.

    Lisa Wiley Rodriquez

  • I like fostering because it’s my personal way of giving back to the animals who haven’t had the opportunity to find their forever homes.

    Alex Patten

  • Extra love is sometimes all it takes to make a big difference to the health of an animal both mentally and physically.

    Christy Baugh

  • Exposing foster animals to other dogs, cats, and children in my home helps HSHC know what kind of forever home they need.

    Lisa Wiley Rodriquez

  • I like working with HSHC because they are flexible with my schedule and make the responsibility of fostering very simple.

    Alex Patten

Love & Let Live

Every animal deserves a second chance at love — and life. We invite you to be part of the solution and give back to the animals who give us so much.