Why foster?

A home environment is the best possible place for an animal to prepare for its future. Foster parents provide a safe and loving home for all animals but especially those that may need medical attention, rehabilitation and socialization with humans and other pets. Being in a foster home keeps them out of shelters where they usually live surrounded by concrete walls and have a greater chance of being euthanized. Fostering makes a huge contribution to their health and well being, ensuring that the animals have the best chance of being rehomed. Happy animals will mean healthy adoptions.


“Fostering rescue dogs is a life-changing experience! When an animal arrives, they are often lonely and frightened. Watching them bloom into a happy, confident dog is so fulfilling. When they’re finally adopted by their ‘furever family,’ you realize that you’ve saved a life.”

— Heather T.


How to Become a Foster

Thank you for your interest in fostering. As a rescue organization, AARF relies on a network of “foster parents” to provide short and long-term care for dogs and cats in their home. By offering your time, love, and attention, you prepare your foster dog, puppy, cat, or kitten for adoption into a permanent, loving home! Click on a link below to fill out an agreement and application.

DOG Foster Agreement and application

cat Foster Agreement and application

Foster FAQs


What does it mean to foster?

Foster parents provide temporary care for our animals in their own homes until they are ready for adoption.

Can anyone foster?

No. You must be 21 years or older and meet the necessary requirements.

How long is the average foster stay?

Depending on the age and health of the animal it could be as little as two weeks or as long as several months (rare, but happens). Occasionally, AARF will have an animal that may need longer ongoing palliative care until they are ready for adoption.

Will I have a choice of species of animals?

Yes. We want everyone who fosters to be happy. AARF rescues only cats and dogs. We have adult animals as well as kittens and puppies.

Will AARF provide the necessary supplies?

Yes. AARF has crates, exercise pens, food (dogs), bowls, toys, collars, leashes and miscellaneous things that are generally needed when providing care for an animal, in addition to any medications needed. You are welcome to use your own things or purchase additional items.

Do I have to train my foster animal (dog)?

You are expected to move your foster dog forward towards being a well-behaved inside dog. This includes working on house-training and crate training, in addition to socializing and teaching them how to behave well toward other dogs and people. If a dog is problematic, such as extreme shyness or aggression, AARF partners with trainers that are available to help.

Will AARF cover medical expenses?

Yes, the animals in your care get wellness visits and sick visits at AARF as needed. All animals will get their vaccinations at a clinic.  Should an emergency arise, after you contact the appropriate person and it is agreed that the situation is an emergency, you will be given permission to go to a veterinarian that works with AARF. All medication is provided at no expense to you.

What happens if I need to go out of town or can no longer foster?

With advance notice, AARF will attempt to find an appropriate (temporary or permanent as needed) foster home from our existing foster homes. The AARF family is a group of people that generally step up when needed. It is pretty amazing how not only do our volunteers help the animals, but they help each other as well!   

If a dog/cat turns out to be aggressive, can other arrangements be made?

In these situations it is best for the foster parent to contact the team leaders to discuss options. We partner with dog trainers to address behavior issues, including aggression. Each animal has a behavior assessment before intake, however, in the event a problem surfaces, the team leaders will advise the best way to resolve the situation. Safety is high priority with AARF and we do not want to put our fosters at risk of injury. Other arrangements will be made as necessary.

What should I consider before taking the next steps to foster?

  • Do you have consistent, reliable transportation?

  • Do you have the proper housing for taking care of the animals?

  • Do you have the availability to bring a foster animal in for a medical check and routine care appointments, and adoption fairs?

  • Do you have reliable access to the Internet and email for accessing information regarding anything foster related?

  • Are you able to be home often enough or make provisions (for dogs) to take them outside for relief and exercise?