Foster a Pet

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Foster families feed, socialize, train, and sometimes medicate the animals in their care for the duration of the foster period. They offer a safe, comfortable, stable environment, and provide tender loving care. Depending on the animal(s) in your care, fostering might also include meet-and-greets with potential adopters.

Intrigued? Read through the list of frequently asked questions to discover more about fostering animals in need or begin by completing the Foster Application.

What kind of animals can I foster?

Currently we're searching for fosters willing to help with some adult dogs, pregnant dogs and cats, moms with litters, and orphaned puppies and kittens. 

How long will I have my foster animal(s)?

It varies and depends on the needs of the animal. The foster period can be as short as a few days or as long as a few months. To accommodate vacations and other plans that might take you away from home for a period of time, long-term care animals might reside in several foster homes until their time in foster care is complete. The Naperville Area Humane Society's animal care team works with you to coordinate a schedule around your needs.

Will fostering cost me anything?

When you pick up your foster animals at the Naperville Area Humane Society, we can provide a small collection of supplies (e.g., food, bowl, cat litter). We would appreciate, however, your purchasing additional supplies as you need them so our shelter supply is not depleted. Any expenses fosters incur toward the care of Naperville Area Humane Society foster animals can be declared as a tax-deductible donation.

Any medical care or visits to the veterinary hospital are paid for directly by the Naperville Area Humane Society. Foster parent volunteers must, however, use Naperville Area Humane Society partner hospitals.

I have my own pets. May I still foster?

Yes! Many of our foster parents have their own pets, but you will need to provide proof that your own pets are up to date on core vaccines. It is best, though, to keep your foster animals separate from your own animals. If you would like to introduce your foster animals to your own pets, we ask that you speak with a Naperville Area Humane Society animal care staff member first.

What if it is not working out?

We want to ensure our animals and our foster parent volunteers are happy. If an animal is not working out for you, we will work with you to overcome the problem, or we will search for another foster home where the animal might be a better fit.

Ready to foster?

If you have additional questions about our foster volunteer program, please contact our Training & Foster Coordinator, JoAnn Schaeffer, at

If you think you are ready to become part of our life-saving foster community, please complete the Foster Application.