Foster Frequently Asked Questions

  • What do fosters do?
    Foster families transform shelter animals into pets by giving them food, love, shelter, and a head start on housetraining, obedience, and canine good citizenship in their safe and loving homes.

  • Does fostering cost money?
    Pets in Need will provide you with everything you need to take care of your foster pet. We will also provide all necessary medical treatments by appointment at our shelter.

  • How long is the commitment?
    The time commitment for fostering varies. Our shortest placement is our Foster Getaway which lasts from Monday to Thursday and gives shelter animals a much-needed change of scenery. For Pet Academy, we ask for a minimum one-month commitment. Puppy and kitten placements usually last 2 to 4 weeks.

  • What if I work full time?
    Very few of our dogs are suitable for people who work full time and want to foster, but some of our adult cats are. Provided you can organize a safe environment and a comfortable bed, some of our cats would rather be in your home than in a shelter.

  • What if I want to foster a dog, but I live in an apartment without a yard?
    As long as you’re willing to walk your foster dog and leash up for potty breaks, apartment living is no obstacle to fostering. Yards don’t exercise dogs, people do!

  • Can I foster if I have children?
    Yes! Fostering can be a wonderful family experience as long as adults are the primary caregivers. We will select an age-appropriate animal, and count on you to teach your children respect and to supervise all interactions between your children and your foster animal.

  • Can I foster if I have other pets?
    Again, yes! Provided your pets are at least a year old, fully vaccinated, and interested in a playmate, it can burn energy, build confidence, and make your foster pet more adoptable. However, it’s important that you never leave them together unattended.

  • Are there any other requirements?
    Due to necessary veterinary appointments and occasional introductions to potential adopters, we require that our fosters live between Daly City and San Jose and have their own reliable transportation. Additionally, you must have internet access.

  • What if my foster pet isn’t working out?
    First, be patient – it can take a week or more for an animal to acclimate to new surroundings. You’ll have regular access to both our animal behaviorist and volunteer coordinator, who can coach you through many common issues. If you’re still struggling, we’ll make other arrangements for your foster pet and encourage you to try again. Fostering isn’t always easy, but it’s rewarding.

  • What if I fall in love with my foster pet and want to adopt?
    You would not be the first! Besides, who are we to stand in the way of true love?

  • How can I help my foster pet get adopted?
    Many of our animals wind up finding forever homes among their foster families’ friends, family, neighbors, and acquaintances, so don’t be shy! Promote your foster pet through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Hang out in sidewalk cafes. Go for long walks in highly populated areas. Provide us with cute photos and shareable anecdotes that we can add to our website and social media channels.