Foster a Pet

Fosters act as a safe haven while pets are waiting for their furever home. All you need to provide is a safe and loving space, and we got the rest.

Be a Bridge to Pets Finding
a Home of Their Own by Fostering.

Every foster journey, no matter how long or short, makes a world of difference for a homeless pet. You provide them with the medical care, socialization, and love they need to thrive. You free up space in the shelter so other animals can be rescued. And you become a voice for the voiceless, raising awareness about the importance of pet adoption.

Hear more from fosters about how rewarding and life-changing fostering animals can be:

And You Don't Have To Do It Alone

Need supplies, help with grooming, dog training, or transportation? We got you!

Introducing our Foster+ program, which is designed to help cover the costs associated with fostering so you can focus on what matters– giving these animals the love they deserve.

Act fast! These benefits are only available until July 1st, 2024 so email foster@dallaspetsalive.org to find out if you qualify.

The Foster+ benefits were made possible by the generosity of the following:

  • Betty Pope Endowment Fund at The Dallas Foundation
  • Louis B. and Mary Ratliff Animal Welfare Fund at The Dallas Foundation
  • Erin Wylie Fund at The Dallas Foundation
  • And, the Emma Barnsley Foundation
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Get Started Today!

Open your home and help save our community’s homeless animals. Fosters play an important role in preparing our dogs and cats for a very special day in their lives: Adoption Day! If you have love, affection and patience to share, you could be a great foster parent. Help be part of making North Texas No-Kill —foster a dog or cat!

Foster Success Stories

Bernadette Champions Club Beneficiary
Foster Success Stories

Meet Bernadette

One a cold January evening, the still of the night was broken by a fire tearing through an outdoor encampment. Trapped amongst the flames was a kitten who had only seen a few months of life before facing a nightmare....
Dewy and Mike
Foster Success Stories

Meet Grayson

Fall 2023 brought the story of a four-month-old Great Pyrenees pup named Grayson, shedding light on the impact of compassion and community support. Struck down by a car and left with severe injuries that threatened his very future, Grayson’s journey...
Reeves Edit
Foster Success Stories

Meet Reeves

In September of last year, a good samaritan discovered an emaciated dog lying on the sidewalk. Upon examination, it became clear the dog could not walk, so they scooped him up and rushed him to the Garland Animal Shelter. The...
Bailey Senna 1
Foster Success Stories

Meet Senna

Sometimes you’re simply in the right place at the right time. Nothing could be closer to the truth for two 9-week-old kittens named Senna and Nolina. Malnourished and unsocialized, it was clear the kittens had been on their own for...
DPA A 6498 12
Foster Success Stories

Meet Lemon

A six-month-old pup, Lemon, was surrendered to the Dallas Animal Services in November due to injuries sustained in a dog fight. A chilling story of cruelty and neglect was etched across her body. Despite her grim start, Lemon’s recovery was...
Cody Featured
Foster Success Stories

Meet Cody

Cody’s tale with Dallas Pets Alive! began on the streets, like so many of our pets in need. At just 10 weeks old, he was discovered limping and terrified, his tiny body scraped and battered. Dallas Animal Service’s veterinarians and...

Foster FAQs

There are three simple steps to becoming a Dallas Pets Alive (DPA) foster and making a lifesaving difference to a dog or cat in need. The process generally takes 24-48 hours.

1. Sign up to foster online.
DPA foster sign up—Dogs | DPA foster sign up—Cats

2. A member of DPA’s foster vetting team will email you (within 24-48 hours) to ask any follow up questions about your sign up, and share the initial information about fostering with DPA.

3. Once you are onboarded, you will have access to a photo album with all dogs and cats available for foster. You will work with our foster team to make arrangements for you to pick up your furry houseguest.

Fostering makes a real difference to animals in need and is a vital part of our mission to make Dallas a “No-Kill” city. To become a DPA foster we ask that you:

  • Are age 18 or older
  • Live within 50 miles of DFW due to our local resources
  • Provide a safe, clean, loving environment for your foster dog or cat
  • Provide food, water, litter, toys, enrichment, and shelter (we have donated supplies!)
  • Provide appropriate exercise and socialization
  • Monitor and communicate your foster dog or cat’s medical and/or behavioral needs with the DPA team
  • Transport your foster dog or cat to any necessary vet appointments (we occasionally have volunteers who can help!)
  • Transport your foster dog or cat to DPA adoption events (we occasionally have volunteers who can help!)
  • Keep your foster pet (feline and canine) indoors

We pride ourselves on providing outstanding support, services and resources for our fosters. Each foster has a dedicated team who serves as your advocate and point of contact with DPA.

The foster team will check in with you regularly to make sure you and your foster pet are doing well. They will also coordinate behavioral training services your pet may need and organize any veterinary appointments and medication, all at no cost to you.

We ask our fosters to provide food, toys, a collar and leash, and a crate. We do have lots of donated items so please do not let this be a barrier to fostering a pet in need. And of course, lots of love and attention!

Ask us about our Foster+ program, available now until July 2024! Email foster@dallaspetsalive.org to find out if you qualify for help with grooming, dog training, or transportation while fostering.

Absolutely! Many DPA fosters have their own pets and families; rent their home/apartment; or have full-time jobs.

Your existing pets must be spayed/neutered, up to date on vaccinations, and treated for fleas and worms. Renters must be aware of their landlord or management company’s pet policy; you will be responsible for any pet fees or deposits required in your lease. You will also need to have a separate room or area in your home to keep your foster animals in while they acclimate to their new surroundings and/or recover from illness or surgery. A bathroom is perfect for a cat or kitten, and a spare bedroom can be used for a foster dog/puppy.

Possibly, depending on which pet you are interested in fostering and your home environment. We are committed to setting our pets and foster families up for success. Our foster team evaluates each animal’s health, behavior, training needs, and previous situation so we can match them with a foster best suited to their needs. DPA’s foster team will discuss this in detail with you during your on-boarding.

The length of time a dog or cat stays in their foster home depends on a variety of factors, including their age, health, behavior and how quickly they can be adopted. We also ask our fosters to share a variety of content frequently and make an initiative to network their foster within their own circle. Every pet acclimates to new surroundings at a different pace, so this can affect how long they will need to be with a foster family. We do as our fosters to foster until the animal is adopted, or at the agreed upon length of time, (such as for temporary fostering, Dogs Matter, or PASS.)

Some DPA foster dogs or cats will need to take regular medication (e.g. heartworm pills) while they are in your care. We will teach you how to give these medications and provide detailed instructions. Some foster pets may require medication or treatment that can only be administered by a veterinarian. The foster team will work with you to organize any necessary vet visits. DPA covers the cost of medications and vet visits for your foster dog/cat at our approved vet partners.

No, you are not expected to find an adopter for your foster dog or cat. However, we strongly encourage you to share photos and information about your four-legged guest on your social media pages and with your friends and family. Personal connections often play a big role in helping fosters find their forever homes!

We do expect you to bring your dog or cat to adoption events, as your schedule permits.

In many circumstances, yes! We lovingly refer to our fosters as “foster fails” when they adopt their foster. This is an important conversation to have with the foster team if you would like to adopt your foster.

To ensure that each animal gets the best care and that our fosters are not overwhelmed, we limit the number of animals someone can foster to two. Of course, there are situations (like a mother and puppies) where fosters may take on more than one animal, but usually fosters are allowed to home two animals at a time through Dallas Pets Alive. We also ask that you limit to fostering with one organization at a time, as cross contamination of germs and behavior can become a risk.

When you “tag” an animal, our shelter partners ask that we give them a time and date for pick up (usually within 24 hours.) We partner with various shelters in North Texas. Sometimes, a dog may be picked up from a boarding facility or from another foster family, depending on the pup’s current situation.