Foster a Pet

man and dog at Red Rock Canyon
Photo by Anthony S. McIntosh

Volunteering to foster a pet provides a lifeline for animals who may be having difficulty adjusting to animal shelter life, need a little extra care to recuperate from an injury, or who are young and simply need time to grow before being ready for adoption.

The Animal Foundation’s Foster Program is one of the most fun and rewarding ways to volunteer in Las Vegas. We offer three types of foster volunteering opportunities to help the pets needing a little extra love and attention. All play a vital role in our lifesaving efforts for homeless animals. Whether it's for an hour, for a week, for a month or forever, The Animal Foundation has a foster opportunity that's right for your schedule.

Foster Field Trips

Animal shelters can be stressful, scary places for lost, abandoned, and homeless pets. They find themselves in a strange, noisy environment with unfamiliar smells, people, and other animals. Our Foster Field Trip program is designed to get adoptable animals out of the shelter for as little as an afternoon, a weekend, or a few weeks. Getting out of the shelter can be both physically and mentally reinvigorating. This allows the animals to relax, de-stress, and “be themselves.” As an important part of your field trip, we ask you to fill out an evaluation so that potential adopters will know more about the dog or cat. Pictures and short videos are encouraged! Your efforts to get to know your field trip pet, along with your pictures and videos can be vital in helping us more quickly find a forever home for a loving animal that may otherwise be scared or simply not “stand out” in the animal shelter environment.

Foster Homes

By opening your heart – and your home – to foster a dog, cat or other pet for as little as a few weeks, you can help save the life of a pet not ready to be made available for adoption. Volunteering to foster a pet provides a lifeline for animals who may be having difficulty adjusting to animal shelter life, need a little extra care to recuperate from an injury, or who are young and simply need time to grow before being ready for adoption. You provide the love and care, we provide everything else.

Foster-to-Forever Homes

Foster caregivers can also choose to become foster “ambassadors” by actively marketing to find a forever home for the foster pet in their care. The Animal Foundation requires a photo, short bio, and short video (20 -60 seconds) of the pet. As a Foster-to-Forever Home volunteer, you’ll market your adoptable foster pet through your social media channels, online social forums, and even Craigslist. Dogs are given “adopt me” collars and leashes so that walks and outings to pet-friendly places also serve as adoption “advertisements.” Under the guidance of The Animal Foundation, you can also opt to be trained to process the adoption from your home rather than the shelter if you choose.

When you foster a dog, cat or other pet, you’ll experience one of the most rewarding opportunities you’ll find to volunteer in Las Vegas. If you’re interested in becoming a foster volunteer at The Animal Foundation, please complete the form below.

Foster FAQs

Fostering a pet from The Animal Foundation is a short-term commitment, but one of the most rewarding opportunities to volunteer in Las Vegas. Most foster placements last two weeks to two months. Our foster coordinator will work with you to make sure your foster match is right for you, your lifestyle, and schedule. No special skills are required, just dedication, time and patience. We provide you with everything you need from food to medications, litter boxes, bowls and toys, depending on what is needed. We do require you to attend bi-weekly appointments at our Low-Cost Vet Clinic with our medical staff. Appointments will be arranged to fit your schedule.

You must be 18 or older, and be able to provide a safe, loving, and stable environment for your foster pet.

You can still be a foster parent if you have pets at home. We do require all foster parents have the space and resources to separate resident pets from foster pet(s) if needed. It is important to understand that there is always a risk associated with exposing your pets(s) to other animals. Your foster pet may have been exposed to disease, and could expose your pet, which is why we recommend you keep your pets current on their vaccinations. If you have pets, you may choose to opt out of fostering pets entering the program with certain types of medical issues.

Not at all! In some cases, you may be asked to dispense medications, and our medical team will provide you with any information you need to care for a sick or injured pet. Our foster coordinator is also available to answer questions you may have.

If your foster pet becomes sick, immediately contact our foster coordinator. We will make an appointment for you to bring the pet in to see our medical staff. All veterinary care is provided at our Las Vegas animal shelter location at 655 N. Mojave Road. Should you choose to take your foster animal(s) to your own veterinarian, we cannot reimburse you for any medical costs.

We understand that unforeseen things happen in life. If you are unable to continue caring for your foster pet for any reason, please notify us as soon as possible so that alternate arrangements may be made. Finding last minute accommodations for foster pets can be challenging so we appreciate receiving as much advance notice as possible.

Foster parents are more than welcome to name the pet(s) in their care! When you bring your foster pet(s) to the clinic at our Las Vegas animal shelter location for check-ups or to be made available for adoption, just let the foster coordinator know the new name and we’ll make sure it’s updated in our system!

Yes! As long as you meet the requirements necessary for adopting, you definitely can. Please note that foster pets are the property and responsibility of The Animal Foundation. Foster animals cannot be adopted or kept as your own pet until both the official paperwork and the spay/neuter surgery (required by law) are complete. Additionally, foster animals cannot be promised to your friends or family unless and until they complete the adoption screening process.

Due to insurance issues and safety concerns, only individuals who are at least 18 can sign up to foster a pet. Young adults and children can help with a foster pet in the home, but adults must be the primary caregivers. Talk with your parents to see if fostering a pet will work for your whole family as well as your individual school requirements for volunteering in Las Vegas. Depending on the school, teenagers looking to fulfill community service hours for school may be eligible to receive credit for hours spent fostering animals.

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