Foster a Pet. Save a Life

Foster Dog - Hi! Can I crash on your couch for a while?

You can make the world a better place with one simple action: Fostering a pet.

Fostering is the heart of Dallas Pets Alive’s rescue mission. Because we don’t have a shelter facility, the number of dogs and cats we can save depends entirely on the number of fosters who open their homes and hearts to our community’s homeless pets.

Fosters provide a lifeline and a second chance for pets who may be underage, injured, or simply in need of some TLC before they can be adopted. While the amount of time a pet spends with a foster can vary from a few days to few months, the positive impact a foster has on that dog or cat lasts a lifetime.

Open your home and help save Dallas’ 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 Dallas a no-kill city—foster a dog or cat!


Fostering FAQs

What is the process to foster a dog or cat through Dallas Pets Alive?

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 2-3 days.

1. Submit a foster application online.
DPA foster application—Dogs | DPA foster application—Cats

2. A member of DPA’s foster vetting team will email you (within 24 hours) to set up a phone interview to discuss your application and answer all of your questions about fostering.

3. Once you are approved, 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.

What are the requirements to become a foster for Dallas Pets Alive?

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 an DPA foster we ask that you:

  • Are age 18 or older
  • Provide a safe, clean, loving environment for your foster dog or cat
  • Provide food, water, litter, toys, enrichment and shelter
  • Provide appropriate exercise and socialization
  • Monitor and communicate your foster dog or cat’s medical and/or behavioral needs with your DPA foster representative
  • Transport your foster dog or cat to any necessary vet appointments
  • Transport your foster dog or cat to DPA adoption events
  • Keep your foster pet (feline and canine) indoors
What does DPA provide to its fosters? What will I be expected to provide?

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

Your foster representative 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.

You will need to provide food, toys, a collar and leash, and a crate. You will also need to provide litter and a litter box for feline fosters. And of course, lots of love and attention!

Can I foster if I have pets or children? Rent a house/apartment? Work full time?

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 provide approval from the landlord or management company; 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.

Can I choose which dog or cat I foster?

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 interview.

How long will I typically foster a cat or dog?

The length of time a dog or cat stays in foster depends on a variety of factors, including their age, health, behavior and how quickly they can be adopted. 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.

Will I need to give medication to my foster pet?

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. Your foster representative will work with you to organize any necessary vet visits. DPA covers the cost of medications and vet visits for your foster dog/cat.

Do I need to find an adopter for my foster?

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.

Can I adopt my foster dog or cat?

In many circumstances, yes! Your foster representative can discuss this with you in more detail.

How many animals can I foster at one time?

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.

Where will I pick up my foster dog or cat?

Nearly all foster dogs will be picked up at Dallas Animal Services (DAS), which is where we pull our fosters. Sometimes, a dog may be picked up from a boarding facility or from another foster family, depending on the pup’s current situation.

DPA’s cats are pulled by our Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) team and cared for in their homes until a foster is found. If you are interested in fostering a cat, DPA’s foster team will connect you with a member of the TNR team so you can arrange to pick up your feline friend directly from them.