Who Needs Foster Care?

Foster caregivers open their homes to animals too young, sick/injured, or scared to be placed immediately up for adoption. They care for the animals in their homes and work to get them ready for adoption. Foster placements can be as short as a week, or up to a few months. Many foster animals require special medical attention, including receiving daily medications or other specified medical care. Still, others may benefit from a structured home environment where certain behaviors can be monitored and modified through consistent training and positive reinforcement.

Small animals

•  Skill level: Beginner

First-time foster caregivers are welcome! The primary foster caregiver must be over 18 years of age, but we encourage fostering to be a fun activity that involves the whole family. Small animals include rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, degus, chinchillas, hamsters, rats, mice, gerbils, and birds. Every animal that needs foster care is unique. Some small animals may require medication, regular weight tracking, and other record-keeping. Our staff will train you on these skills and staff along with Dakin foster mentors are always available to answer any questions you may have.

Adult cats with behavioral needs

•  Skill level: Intermediate / Advanced

Adult cats who struggle with a variety of behavioral challenges need the help of a foster home as the shelter environment may be too much for them. Behavior issues could include but are not limited to fear and severe shyness, not eating due to stress, and having a strict limit on how much they like to be touched before possibly lashing out. Foster caregivers for these cats should be experienced in the safe handling and behavior of difficult cats and understand their body language and boundaries. Experience in positive reinforcement training is ideal!


•  Skill level: Intermediate / Advanced

Dogs need foster homes before moving on to adoption for a variety of reasons from medical to behavioral. Dog foster caregivers should be experienced and comfortable with dogs, especially those who struggle with change, fear, and require behavior observation and modification. Some dogs may require oral medication, weight tracking, and record-keeping for our veterinary team to manage their care. Due to the complex needs of each dog, there are more opportunities for foster homes that do not have resident dogs or young children.