Foster a Dakin Animal

Kitten sleeping in her foster home

Do you love the antics of kittens but don't want your own cat to have a litter?  Would you like to help a dog who's stressed out from the adoption center environment?  Do you have a soft spot for shy or senior animals?  Foster parenting might be for you!

Foster parents usually care for animals too young to be placed immediately up for adoption, frequently litters of kittens.  Some litters will have a mother, while some will need to be bottle fed.  Some kittens will only need a week or two of foster care, while some may need as long as eight weeks before they are ready for adoption.

Our foster parents also care for shy or nervous animals, who do not respond well in the busy adoption center, until they can find their new home.  Or they might provide long term (i.e. a month or more) temporary care to adult cats and dogs as part of our Safety Plan for Animals.  Sometimes foster parents help an injured animal recover from surgery.

In all cases, Dakin makes arrangement for and pays for medical care.  Foster parents provide food, cat litter, and other supplies for foster animals. 

Volunteers make it possible for Dakin to serve more than 20,000 animals and their people each year. The first step volunteering with Dakin Humane Society is to attend a Foster Orientation Welcome Session. These gatherings take place once or twice a month currently at our Springfield location. You'll learn more about Dakin, how you can get involved, and the different types of volunteer opportunities that are currently available. Fosters can be as short term as a week or up to a few months, most animals that go into foster have medical needs as well - it all depends on each individual situation.
The session should last about an hour and a half is at our Springfield Adoption Center at 171 Union Street in Springfield.

Upcoming Foster Orientation Welcome Sessions

This is an introductory meeting for people interested in becoming Fosters. Our Foster program saves lives and helps us get animals out of the potentially stressful shelter environment and into homes, allowing us to then help even more animals in need. Fosters can be as short term as a week or up to a few months, and may or may not have medical needs as well - it all depends on each individual situation.

If you are willing to open your heart & home - please sign up to attend one of the Orientation Welcome Sessions listed below. The session should last about an hour at our 171 Union Street location in Springfield.

Saturday, March 23 at 1 PM - Register here  

Saturday, April 13 at 1 PM - Register here 

Wednesday, May 1 at 6 PM - Register here  
Saturday, May 18 at 1 PM - Register here  

Other information about fostering

Minimum Age: For everyone!  Primary foster parent(s) must be 18 years or older, however, children are very welcome to assist with foster care when safe and appropriate.  Primary foster parent must have transportation.

Commitment Level: You choose!  You can decide to foster anywhere from two weeks to two months or more.  And you can choose to foster just one time or many, many times.  The more you foster, you more lives you help save!

Be sure to check out our Resources for Foster Parents section for all the information you'll need as a foster!


If you have questions about fostering please contact Megan Tolpa at 413-781-4000 x 112 or contact us by email.