Humane Pennsylvania is grateful to have a successful foster care program filled with many wonderful, dedicated foster volunteers. We love our foster care volunteers, because foster families provide a life-saving second chance to animals in need!

By temporarily opening your home to foster a pet, you give them a break from the confines of the shelter, help preserve strained shelter resources, and create space for other animals in need. You can foster for a few days or a few weeks – it’s completely up to you and it all makes an amazing difference!

You choose which type of foster assignments to care for based on your interests, experience, and home environment. We provide training and supplies for every foster volunteer, you just provide the loving home!


  1. What types of animals are chosen to be placed into foster care?
    Foster candidates typically include: puppies and kittens under 8 weeks old, moms with nursing litters, animals with mild illnesses or injuries that require recovery time, animals that need socialization and/or training, and animals who are part of our Safe Haven Program, which provides temporary emergency housing to pet animals. Our staff will work with you to find a foster animal that is a great match for your family and home.
  2. How long will the foster animal stay in our home?
    The period of time an animal requires foster care varies depending on their needs. Typical foster stays are 2-6 weeks.
  3. Are we eligible to foster if we have pets of our own?
    Yes! Just keep in mind that some foster animals may need more “privacy” than others.
  4. Are we eligible to foster if we work full time?
    Yes! Many of our foster volunteers are employed either part or full time.
  5. Are we eligible to foster if we have young children?
    Yes! Keep in mind that all contact your children have with the foster animals needs to be supervised by an adult.
  6. What, if any, costs are foster parents responsible for?
    Nothing! While we appreciate any donated items you are willing to contribute, Humane Pennsylvania provides all necessary supplies and veterinary care for foster animals.
  7. What do I do if I have a problem with an animal I am fostering?
    All concerns about foster animals should be directed to the shelter staff. You will be provided with contact information for someone who can assist you if you need help.
  8. What happens with foster animals when they are ready for adoption?
    Foster families return their foster animals to the shelter where they are placed up for adoption.
  9. What if someone I know is interested in adopting an animal I am fostering?
    If you or someone in your life is a perfect match for a pet you are fostering, just let us know! We are happy to work with anyone interested in providing a permanent home to an animal. All adoptions must go through Humane Pennsylvania and all adoption policies and fees may apply.

Important questions to ask yourself before you foster:

  1. Do you have a space in your home to use as a foster area?
    An enclosed area, such as a spare bedroom or bathroom, mud room or laundry room tends to be ideal. Remember, some foster animals may need more “privacy” than others.
  2. Do you have time to foster?
    While some animals require just 30-60 minutes of care each day, some need much more frequent interaction. Be sure to consider how much time you have to spare when choosing which foster animals are right for you.
  3. Will you be able to commit to check-up appointments?
    Foster parents should expect that their animals will need routine vet care while in their home. Healthy animals will likely need booster vaccines every 3-4 weeks while sick animals may need to be seen by the veterinarian as frequently as once per week.