Fosters Needed in NYC at the ASPCA


Thanks for your interest in becoming a foster caregiver! We have an ongoing need for fosters throughout the year, especially for large dogs. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen an incredible response from potential fosters within our community. Due to the unprecedented number of applicants, our upcoming orientations are currently full through April and our foster application is temporarily closed while we optimize our foster application process during this busy time. Please stay tuned and continue to check back for updates. We appreciate your interest and are grateful for your patience and support!

If you are interested in helping in other ways, click on "How You Can Help" at the top of this page to learn how to get involved.

ASPCA Fostering FAQs

What kinds of animals need fostering?

Foster candidates are animals who aren't quite ready for adoption.

Many of the ASPCA’s foster candidates are:

  • Neonatal and young kittens
  • Recovering, sick or injured cats and dogs (of all sizes)
  • Adult cats and dogs with special medical and/or behavioral needs

Fostering opportunities for healthy small-breed dogs may be infrequent.

Why do animals need foster caregivers?

Each year, the ASPCA welcomes hundreds of kittens born during the feline breeding season, or "kitten season," which extends from spring to fall. In many cases, these are neonatal “bottle babies” in need of round-the-clock care. Fostering kittens helps them thrive in a home environment and prepare for adoption. Kitten foster periods may range from one to eight weeks.

Some cats and dogs need an attentive foster caregiver to help socialize them so they'll become more confident and trusting.

Other animals may benefit from a structured home environment where certain behaviors can be monitored and modified through consistent training and positive reinforcement.

In addition, many foster animals require special medical attention, including medicated baths, physical therapy, daily medication or other medical care.

Why should I foster?

Fostering an animal is a rewarding experience you’ll never forget, and it directly improves the lives of shelter animals. Whether you’re helping a dog learn to love and be loved, or watching a kitten recover from illness or injury, fostering gives you the chance to single-handedly change an animal’s life for the better. Many of our animals come from tough circumstances, and could use someone special to help them along their journey—could that be you?

What requirements are necessary for fostering? Do I need any special training?

The ASPCA provides training, resources and materials to prepare you to care for a foster animal. Foster time periods typically range anywhere from two weeks to several months, depending on the animal's needs. Whether you plan to foster cats or dogs, you'll need to attend our Foster Program Orientation, which is held twice monthly, at our Adoption Center or online.

Once you’ve been accepted into the ASPCA Foster Program and completed orientation, if you’re interested in fostering neonate kittens, you’ll have the opportunity to receive hands-on, bottle-baby kitten foster training with ASPCA staff to prepare you to care for these very special kittens.

The ASPCA Foster team will be there to support you every step of the way through your fostering experience. And, when it comes time, we'll help you prepare to say goodbye to your foster charges as they head to our Adoption Center to find loving homes.

Will I need to provide all the food and supplies for my foster animal?

The ASPCA gives all our foster caregivers the food, equipment and supplies they need to care for their animals, while we cover all of the animal's medical expenses. You need only provide your home, time, attention and love for your foster animals!

Can anyone foster for the ASPCA?

We welcome foster caregivers who are interested in helping any or all of the following: kittens, puppies, adult cats and adult dogs. However, foster caregivers must be at least 18 years old. If you are not 18, please have a guardian complete the foster questionnaire. Applicants under the age of 18 will not be enrolled in the ASPCA Foster Orientation.

In addition, foster caregivers must reside in the NYC area in order to easily get to and from our Manhattan-based Adoption Center with their foster animal(s) and for supplies as needed. If you are not in NYC, please visit our Find a Shelter page to find foster opportunities near you.

Special consideration may be given to foster applicants who have experience with and/or interest in helping large breed dogs; cats, dogs and/or kittens with special needs; and neonatal kittens.

We also welcome individuals with professional veterinary experience who can foster animals, especially animals who require special medical attention, or may need support in a home environment. This is a great opportunity for veterinary medical professionals to assist our neediest animals as they are readied for adoption.