Woman kissing a dog's head as the dog licks its nose

Find a short-term foster for your pet

If you’re experiencing a crisis, preparing for a military deployment, moving to a new home or having a medical procedure, you may need temporary help caring for your dog or cat. Reach out to your community and ask for support. Someone you know may be willing to provide your pet with a safe and loving short-term home.

How to find a short-term foster for your cat or dog

  1. Ask family and friends for help. Someone who already knows your pet may be able to care for them on a temporary basis. Your pet may be more comfortable with a familiar person, and you will have peace of mind knowing your pet is with someone you know and trust.

  2. Check with your local pet shelter or rescue, or breeder, where you got your cat or dog. The same organization or breeder may be able to help you find a temporary foster home for your pet. Visit adoptapet.org/animal-shelters to find pet shelters and rescues near you.

  3. Use your social networks to find a potential foster home. Reach out to your neighbors and community. Share a photo of your cat or dog on Nextdoor or another local social media group and explain the situation. Someone nearby may be able to help. You might also check with a fostering network, such as Home To Home or 911Fosterpets.com.

  4. Put the fostering arrangement in writing. A foster care agreement spells out the arrangement between the pet's owner and the pet's temporary caretaker, including who is covering the cost of food and vet visits. Even if you know the person who will be caring for your pet, it's a good idea to put the details in writing. Download a sample temporary pet guardian contract from the Animal Welfare Association.


Where can I find pet-inclusive housing in my area?

Some rentals don't advertise that they welcome pets. If you're not sure about a building's pet policy, contact the building manager or check their website. It may help to send a photo of your pet, offer to pay a pet deposit, connect them to your previous landlord, agree to carry renter's insurance that covers pet damage or give them an opportunity to meet your pet in person. Avoid rentals that require your cat to be declawed. Learn more about pet-inclusive housing and get help finding pet-inclusive housing from organizations such as My Pitbull is Family.