Foster a Pet

A foster home is a temporary living situation for pets in our program while they are awaiting placement in a permanent home or transfer to a rescue. If you choose to foster, we will provide you with everything else, such as a crate, toys, food, and medical care. 

Most fosters will stay in foster care for an average of 1-2 months though many get adopted far sooner than that. Depending on the need there are a few that may be in care longer due to age, illness, injury, or behavior.

If you're interested in foster a pet, fill out our Foster application.

Foster a Pet


  • Be able to go to Animal Care Services (ACS) to meet your potential foster pet
  • Provide safe, humane, indoor housing for your foster pet until they are adopted
  • Bring your foster pet to the shelter at least one weekend per month to help socialize, market, and try to get them adopted
  • Provide safe transport to and from the clinic at ACS to have your foster checked on a monthly basis
  • Use social media to market and actively seek out a permanent home for your foster pet
  • Keep the foster rescue staff updated of any changes regarding your foster pet and provide updated pictures and a biography at least once/month
  • Be available via email or phone to respond to potential adopters who have questions about your foster pet

Foster Categories


Some pets run out of time at our shelter due to space availability. They need someone to advocate for them help find a new home. 

Orphan Gruel and Bottle Babies

These are kittens or puppies that need 1-8 weeks of care till old enough for surgery and adoption. These babies have no trouble getting adopted, they just need a loving home to raise them.

Sick, Injured, and Behavior Animals

Depending on the medical treatment or behavior, some of these pets may take longer to be adoptable. Our vets and trainers are here to help walk you through getting them healthy and ready for adoption.

Frequently Asked Questions

Becoming a Foster

Where do I go to find animals in need of foster care?

View the Urgent Pet Placement Reports to see animals that are in need of an urgent home. You are also welcome to come down to our facility to walk through our kennels.

Can I still foster if I don’t live in San Antonio?

If you live farther than 45 minutes from our location, it is recommended that you try to foster for a local rescue/shelter. Check out one of our rescue partners that pull from us if you would like to help out our at risk pets.

Can I only foster one puppy from the litter?

We highly recommend that if you are interested in fostering a puppy that has several siblings, that you take two. This is better for the puppies’ socialization skills and helps puppies learn about bite inhibition and how to play.

Bringing Home your Foster Pet

Are they flea and tick free?

Since many of our stray pets have been living on the street or haven't received vet care, the pets do sometimes come with pests. 

We treat all of our animals with a flea and tick preventative before going into foster care. It may take up to 24 hours for all of them to die and fall off. You should always do your own observation when you’re taking them home and keep them separate from any owned pets.

When can I bathe my foster?

If your foster just had surgery, you will need to wait 10 days before bathing to make sure the surgery site is completely healed. If your pet really stinks you can use some scented baby wipes to help clean up your foster pet.

How long does the cone have to be on?

The cone should stay on for at least 10 days while the pet’s surgery site is healing. If there was some other injury or issue our vet will provide you with the expected timeline that the cone needs to remain on.

Why do they need to be kept separate from my pets?

Many of our shelter pets have been on the streets for a while or were not given proper vaccinations. Many of these pets may be carrying an illness that might not show signs until after they have settled in your home. 

To keep your own pets safe, we advise that you keep your new foster pet separate from the others until at least 2 weeks have passed. This way if your foster does contract an illness your pets at home are less likely to also get sick.

How long does it take them to adjust?

Some pets adjust quickly, and some may need up to a month to feel safe and open up. Remember to be patient, and please reach out to our trainers for help. We want each foster pet to succeed and find a wonderful home that will love them for who they are.

Potential Problems

Can I leave them for a weekend?

Unfortunately, you cannot simply leave your foster pet here with us over a weekend. We have limited space and it changes each day. To avoid this, try reaching out to neighbor or friend to care for them while you are away.

What happens when I need to go on vacation?

When planning your vacation, please keep the foster team in the loop if you are currently caring for a foster. Or time it when you are between foster pets to avoid issues.

If not, try reaching out to a neighbor or friend that would be willing to care for you foster while you are away. Make sure to give that information to the foster team in case a problem comes up.

How much notice do I need to give if it isn’t work out?

Please let us know right away if you are having problems in the home. We have trainers on staff to assist with behavior problems and work with you.

Not every foster is going to be the perfect fit, but try to find their good qualities. It is your job as the foster to help give them that chance. If it doesn’t work out with you there may not be any other options. With that said, we will always take our foster pets back.

From Fostered to Adopted

Where is the best place for fosters and potential pet adopters to meet?

Many fosters choose to meet their pet potential adopter on ACS campus so if it works out, they can finalize the paperwork right then and there. Others like to meet in public areas like parks or pet stores that are close by.

Where are your events?

Here at ACS we don’t have any foster events, but we do have many Adoption Events throughout the year. Our foster team will let you know when an event is coming up so you can plan to attend and help advocate for your foster pet.

What if I (the foster) don’t feel it is a good match?

You can inform the rescue foster team of what occurred and why you (as the foster) feel this family or person is not well suited to the pet. It is ultimately ACS’s decision on who gets to adopt the animal, but your opinion is taken into consideration.

What if I decide to adopt?

If you would like to adopt your foster, please let the rescue foster team know so we can connect you with our adoptions department. You will need to fill out our adoption application and pay the adoption fee before the pet is legally yours.