Foster Care

Do you want to help homeless animals in need? 
Contact us at (530) 621-5795 if you want to join our team of Animal Foster Care volunteers. image of kids watching TV with a dog

Foster Care Application(PDF, 94KB)

El Dorado County Animal Services volunteers provide foster care to dogs, cats, other small animals and sometimes large animals such as horses, burros, goats and pigs. Animals needing foster care are those that are:

  • too young to be adopted
  • unsocialized
  • having a difficult time adjusting to a shelter environment
  • having a medical need that can be better treated in a foster home, or
  • needing to be moved out of the shelter when it becomes overcrowded.

What is an Animal Foster Parent? 

An animal foster parent provides a temporary home for an animal from the shelter for one week to several months. A foster parent is like being a grandparent -- all the enjoyment of caring for an animal without the lifetime responsibility. However, a foster parent must be the type of person who can take home a needy animal, care for it and bond with it, and then let it go to another family.

image of girl with a kitten Who can be an Animal Foster Parent?

Anyone 18 years of age or older who has experience with animals can be a foster parent. Preference is given to people who own their home; however, renters will be considered with landlord approval. Also, all pets that are owned by the foster parent must be in good health, up to date on their vaccinations and any necessary heartworm preventative, altered, not aggressive, and licensed by the County. Foster homes must be in compliance with all zoning laws pertaining to the number of animals allowed on their property at any given time. The foster parent is responsible for the care and control of the animal at all times while the animal is being fostered.

How do I become an Animal Foster Parent?

Each foster parent must complete a Foster Care Application and a Foster Home Agreement.  In some situations, specific training and inspection of the foster home may also be required. 

Are there any expenses for an Animal Foster Parent?

Generally, Animal Services covers all costs associated with caring for the fostered animal. Food and other supplies are provided. If medical care is needed for the animal, Animal Services will arrange for care in collaboration with the foster parent.

The foster parent may be asked to transport the fostered animal to local adoption events, to the shelter and/or to a veterinarian, at their own expense. Animal Services cannot reimburse foster parents for expenses they incur while caring for the animal.

Can I adopt an animal that I Foster?

Yes! Foster parents are given first priority for adopting an animal in their care, as long as the adoption of that animal does not put the foster parent in violation of county zoning laws. All normal adoption fees will apply.

Can I adopt out a foster animal to someone else?

No. All animals in foster homes continue to be the property of Animal Services, and therefore Animal Services procedures for adoption must be followed. Any person wishing to adopt an animal that you are fostering must come to the shelter when the animal is returned for adoption and follow all normal adoption procedures.