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Who can I foster?

Sometimes, animals aren’t yet ready for our adoption program, like puppies or kittens under eight weeks old. Sometimes, animals get sick or injured and need special care. And other times, our shelter is simply filled to capacity. That’s when our Foster Care program volunteers swoop in to save the day.

How It Works

We receive a dog or cat that, for some reason, can’t be immediately placed up for adoption. The email goes out to our list of foster care volunteers. The first willing foster home will come to AHS and pick up the animal, along with all available information and supplies. The animal goes to the foster home until they are ready for adoption. You may need to bring the animals back to the shelter periodically for medical check-ups. The animal is returned to the Austin Humane Society and placed up for adoption. The animal gets adopted. The animal lives happily ever after.

Becoming a Foster Volunteer

First, you need to sign up to become a foster by emailing You will receive an email with information and attachments on our foster care program for you to read through, and you will be automatically added to our foster plea email list. Once we have secured you a foster animal you will be oriented and have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have upon pickup.

Join Our Foster Friends Program

Foster Friends are 6th – 12th graders who volunteer–with their guardian’s permission–to provide temporary housing and care for animals who aren’t ready to be adopted. We need loving homes like yours to continue helping animals in need of a little extra time and care. To sign up to be a Foster Friend, have your parent or guardian please email and we’ll be in touch!

More Information


Upcoming Foster Care Orientations

Sign up to be a Foster Care Volunteer by emailing

Donate Today

It’s Kitten Season, and we are in need of donated items from our kitten registry. To help us save neonatal kittens, please consider making a gift or donating items from our kitten registry below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do animals need to stay in foster care? The typical foster stay is two weeks to six weeks, depending on the needs of the individual animal(s) in your care. The time frame of each foster situation will be discussed with you ahead of time.

What kind of animals need foster care? Puppies and kittens under two months, mothers with nursing litters, dogs or cats with medical conditions or injuries, and special needs animals.

Can I become a foster volunteer if I have pets of my own? Yes, we welcome pet owners as foster volunteers. Please keep in mind that there is always a health risk when exposing your pets to other animals in any setting. However, the risk is minimal if your pets are vaccinated and in good health.

What expenses are involved in foster care? Foster families provide housing, food, bedding and toys for the animals in their care. They also provide exercise, socialization, and lots of love! AHS provides all medical care for the animals in foster homes, including vaccinations, spay/neuter surgeries and medications.

How do I care for a bottle baby kitten? Watch this great video to learn how!

Have questions about how to care for kittens, common kitten medical issues, or kitten development stages? Check out our Foster Kitten Handbook to get answers to the common questions and learn more about fostering procedures.