Why We Love Volunteers and Foster Caregivers

April 22, 2020

Why We Love Volunteers and Foster Caregivers

Year-round, we work hard to ensure that more animals who are suffering or homeless get the care and comfort that they deserve. And as you may know, efforts like these take a village, and while we have incredible support from friends like you, we have a few other people on our side who you may not hear about as much—our incredible volunteers and foster caregivers. This week is Volunteer Appreciation Week, and we want to take a moment to give all volunteers and foster caregivers an immense and heartfelt “thank you,” from the bottom of our hearts.

Martin Agee playing violin for dog in shelter

ASPCA volunteers help us year-round with daily care and enrichment for the animals we take in. They are dedicated animal lovers who give their time to help us make an ongoing difference in the lives of so many. And our ASPCA foster caregivers have been there to give recovering and rescued animals time in homes where they can enjoy the comforts of a family until they are ready to find loving homes of their own.

"We rely on our wonderful volunteers in so many ways throughout the year: enrichment production and fostering, to name a few,” says Kate Pullen, Vice President of the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center (BRC). “We greatly miss our volunteers and cannot wait until they are back assisting the team and dogs at the BRC.”


When she first arrived at the BRC, Dottie trembled at the touch of a human hand and was extremely fearful. She has made incredible progress in our care, as you can see from her camera-ready smile. As she nears graduation, she’s enjoying her time with a foster caregiver, fellow BRC grad, Maddie and cat sibling, Mommy.



Honey Bee was one of 29 fearful dogs surrendered to the ASPCA from a property in Arkansas. While working to overcome her fears, Honey Bee is also enjoying time with her cuddly foster caregiver.

Now, more than ever, we’ve seen and relied on immense support from our foster caregivers, and our foster team and staff have been working tirelessly to place animals in safe homes until we are able to resume normal operations.

“We have been astounded at the sheer numbers of fosters who have opened their homes and hearts to animals in need during the COVID-19 emergency,” says Eileen Hanavan, Director of ASPCA Foster & Volunteer. “The critical support provided by foster volunteers is a lifeline for animal welfare organizations, and the positive impacts (for both the animals and the humans) can be profound. We are incredibly grateful to all our fosters for their commitment.”

kittens Blackberry and Blueberry

Tiny kittens Blackberry and Blueberry celebrate milestones in their foster home!

kittiens Ziggy, Tangerine and Marmalade on top cat tower

L.A. kitties Ziggy, Tangerine and Marmalade are enjoying their views from the top and snoozing comfortably thanks to their foster.

NYPD rescue Dunkin

NYPD rescue Dunkin was spending time in our Animal Recovery Center (ARC) recovering, but now he's stretching his legs in his foster home.

Mott and Intervale

Mott and Intervale were surrendered to the ASPCA and also residing in ARC before being taken in by a caring foster. Both fearful kitties are coming out of their shells and enjoy bird watching and cuddling.

Mercury and Bella

NYPD rescue Mercury (left) has been healing with the ASPCA since February and is now enjoying the comforts of a foster home. The same can be said for Bella (right) who is recovering from leg fracture repair surgery.

“The dedication we’ve seen from volunteers and foster caregivers to help vulnerable animals during this crisis is incredibly inspiring,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA President & CEO. “Whether they’re raising their hands for the first time or have been stepping up for years, we are grateful for this demonstration of compassion and commitment which will help countless shelter animals in need.”

ASPCA rescue partner and friends at Humane Society North Texas

ASPCA rescue partner and friends at Humane Society North Texas have taken in horses during this time, and volunteers are kindly helping with daily care.

HSNT volunteer with horse

Thank you to all the volunteers and fosters who so selflessly offer their time for the benefit of the animals we work so hard to serve. And to all the animal lovers across the country, who give back, we thank you.

If you’re looking for easy ways to get involved from your home, check out these five ideas to get started today!