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Who can I foster?Who can I foster?

Sometimes, animals aren’t yet ready for our adoption program—like puppies or kittens under eight weeks old. Sometimes, animals get sick or injured and need special care. And other times, our shelter is simply filled to capacity. That’s when our Foster Care program volunteers swoop in to save the day.

How It Works

We receive a dog or cat that, for some reason, can’t be immediately placed up for adoption.  The call goes out to our list of foster care volunteers. The first willing foster home will come to AHS and pick up the animal—along with all available information and supplies. The animal goes to the foster home until they are ready for adoption. You may need to bring the animals back to the shelter periodically for medical check-ups. The animal is returned to the Austin Humane Society and placed up for adoption. The animal gets adopted. The animal lives happily ever after.

Becoming a Foster Volunteer

First, you need to attend a Foster Care Orientation The orientation will allow you to learn everything you need to know about caring for a foster animal, while meeting our staff and getting an up-close look at what AHS does. If you are already a volunteer and are interested in fostering, please contact

Upcoming Foster Orientations:

  • Saturday, March 28th @ 11:00 AM
  • Tuesday, April 7th @ 5:30 PM
  • Saturday, April 25th @ 11:00 AM
  • Tuesday, May 5th @ 5:30 PM
  • Saturday, May 23rd @ 5:30 PM
  • Tuesday, June 2nd @ 5:30 PM
  • Saturday, June 20th @ 11:00AM
  • Tuesday, July 7th@ 5:30PM
  • Saturday, July 25th @ 11:00AM
  • Tuesday, August 4th @ 5:30 PM
  • Saturday, August 22nd @ 11:00AM
  • Tuesday, September 8th @ 5:30 PM
  • Saturday, September 26th @ 11:00 AM
  • Tuesday, October 13th @ 5:30 PM
  • Saturday, October 24th @ 11:00 AM
  • Tuesday, November 3rd @ 5:30 PM
  • Saturday, November 21st @ 11:00 AM
  • Tuesday, December 8th @ 11:00AM

Sign up now by emailing

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do animals need to stay in foster care? The typical foster stay is two weeks to two months, depending on the needs of the individual animal(s) in your care. The time frame of each foster situation will be discussed with you ahead of time.

What kind of animals need foster care? Puppies and kittens under two months, mothers with nursing litters, dogs or cats with medical conditions or injuries, and special needs animals.

Can I become a foster volunteer if I have pets of my own? Yes, we welcome pet owners as foster volunteers. Please keep in mind that there is always a health risk when exposing your pets to other animals in any setting. However, the risk is minimal if your pets are vaccinated and in good health.

What expenses are involved in foster care? Foster families provide housing, food, bedding and toys for the animals in their care. They also provide exercise, socialization, and lots of love! AHS provides all medical care for the animals in foster homes, including vaccinations, spay/neuter surgeries and medications.

How do I care for a bottle baby kitten? Watch this great video to learn how!

Have questions about how to care for kittens, common kitten medical issues, or kitten development stages? Check out our Foster Kitten Handbook to get answers to the common questions and learn more about fostering procedures,