Foster an Animal

Temporarily opening your home to an animal allows our shelter to take in more animals that need help. In addition, fostering offers the one-on-one attention and loving comfort that only a home setting can offer, which is precisely what some animals need to heal. 


Foster Fair


Join us at our San Diego Campus to learn about foster opportunities for your family!

San Diego Humane Society and several rescue organizations will be on campus to share with you ways you can volunteer as a foster home and help animals in need! Foster opportunities vary in length and species based on the organization.

No RSVP necessary, simply visit our campus between 10a.m.-2p.m. to learn more and sign up with an organization!

Attendees interested in volunteering for the San Diego Humane Society foster program, can sign up for a 20 minute training session throughout the day to learn more and officially join the program!

Participating Rescues:

  • The Rescue House
  • Jackie Blue’s Rescue Angels
  • SD House Rabbit Society
  • The Rescued Dog
  • Parrot Education and Adoption Center (PEAC)
  • Chihuahua Rescue San Diego
  • Second Chance Dog Rescue
  • SPOT
  • The Animal Pad

Unable to attend the Foster Fair? Complete our foster application below to be invited to future foster training session at San Diego Humane Society, thanks!



Foster FAQs

What are the requirements of becoming a foster pet-parent?

  • One member of the family must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must be able to lift, push, or carry at least 25 pounds.
  • You must own a car for transporting animal(s) to vet appointments, or evacuating them in case of an emergency.
  • All parties responsible for care of foster animal(s) are encouraged to attend foster care training, to be scheduled after your application has been approved by the Volunteer team.
  • You must have a schedule that allows you to meet the needs of foster animals in your care.

Can I adopt my foster animals?

YES! While we hope our foster volunteers choose to open their homes as a demonstration of their deep commitment to making a difference in the lives of animals in need, we understand that you may indeed fall in love and find the perfect companion for your family.

Is it difficult to say good-bye?

Yes it is. Fosters definitely need the ability to say goodbye, but rest assured our Foster Care Team will help you through it. Please remember that fostering is a temporary situation and letting go of one foster pet enables you to help another in need. Although each adoption saves a life, a great foster parent can save many lives by socializing and rehabilitating pets that need a little extra time and care to be ready for a forever home.

Is there a time commitment?

The length of foster assignments varies based on the needs of the animal. You will receive an approximate duration before you commit to an animal.

Where do I pick up my foster animals?

You’ll be given options of animals from a variety of locations. You will pick up animals from the San Diego Humane Society campus where the animal is located. We have campuses in San Diego, Oceanside, and Escondido so you can select animals at the locations that are most convenient for you.

Will I need to provide food or supplies?

San Diego Humane Society is proud to provide all the necessary training, supplies, and support you will need to care for your foster animals. This includes things like bowls, bedding, toys, and crates as well as bigger expenses like food, litter, medication, and veterinary services. If you would like to prepare your own foster kit, or donate to the Foster Care supply, please visit our Amazon Wish List for a list of frequently needed supplies.

As a foster volunteer you may host animals with special medical or behavioral needs, mother animals with nursing litters, or underage animals who need special feeding and socialization, like puppies, bunnies, or kittens. By fostering an animal you are providing rehabilitation in a nurturing home environment, directly preparing them for adoption into a loving home.