With the help of amazing foster caregivers, the ASPCA Foster Program gives animals who are not yet ready for adoption a chance to live and be loved in foster homes. We have dogs and cats of all ages in need of fostering. But right now, our most urgent need is for kitten fosters who can provide care to the most vulnerable young kittens.
We need foster caregivers to open their hearts and homes to take in these kittens for a short time, until they are healthy and old enough to be adopted. We especially need foster caregivers with flexible schedules who can provide frequent bottle-feeding, gentle cleanings and lots of attention for the tiniest kittens. If you live in the New York City area, you can make a big difference by becoming a foster caregiver today!
Ready to get started? Sign up for a foster orientation session below!
Note: Completing this form does not automatically enroll you in an orientation. Please see complete details at the bottom of this page for next steps.
What kinds of animals need fostering?
Foster candidates are animals who aren't quite ready for adoption, including very young kittens and dogs and cats recuperating from illness, injury or medical procedures.
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. Many foster animals require special medical attention, including medicated baths, physical therapy, daily medication or other medical care. Other animals may benefit from a structured home environment where certain behaviors can be monitored and modified through consistent training and positive reinforcement.
Many of the ASPCA’s foster candidates are:
- Neonatal and young kittens
- Recovering, sick or injured cats and dogs
- Adult cats and dogs with special medical and/or behavioral needs
Why should I foster?
Fostering 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.
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. Our Foster Program Orientations are held twice monthly, at our Adoption Center, located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Once you’ve been accepted into the ASPCA Foster Program and completed orientation, 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.
The ASPCA gives all of our foster caregivers the food, equipment and supplies they need to care for their animals, and we cover all of the animal's medical expenses. You need only provide your home, time, attention and love for your foster animals!
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.
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.
We welcome foster caregivers who are interested in helping any or all of the following: kittens, puppies, adult cats and adult dogs. 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. Fostering opportunities for healthy small-breed dogs may be infrequent.
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.
How do I get started?
Ready to enroll? Click on the date below for an upcoming orientation* and fill out the questionnaire. Completed questionnaires will be reviewed by the ASPCA Foster team, and you will be notified of your enrollment status. Submitting a questionnaire does not automatically enroll you in an orientation. Please check your email and spam folder for communications from the ASPCA Foster team.
We look forward to hearing from you!
*Please note, if the form indicates it is no longer accepting submissions, the class is full. Please check back for future enrollment opportunities.