Join our Foster Program!

Get on the fast track to fostering! Do you want to see if fostering is right for you before filling out the application and attending orientation? Join the "Try It Once" program!

Fostering is a wonderful experience for you and your family - you can feel good knowing you have helped save a life. Even better, you’ve created space in the shelter to accommodate other homeless dogs and cats. BDAR makes fostering as easy as possible for the volunteers by providing all of the basic necessities for the animals, including crates or kennels, leashes, collars, food, toys, and treats. In addition, foster families are never responsible for expenses related to the medical care of their charges, and they are supported through staff interactions, professional services, and behavior support provided by BDAR. 

BDAR has a new program to see if fostering is right for your family called Try It Once. This allows interested potential foster homes to give fostering a try before committing to the extensive training that goes with it.

Try It Once Foster Families work with the program manager to choose their first foster dog or cat and every effort is made to find the right fit for your home. Most of our foster homes have other dogs, cats, or children and we diligently work to find an animal in need who will be compatible in your specific home environment. Once you have made a commitment to foster that animal, transport arrangements will be made and you will be alerted of a time to pick up your foster. You will be provided with all necessary supplies, and receive a fostering tip sheet and sign a liability waiver at the time of pickup. From there, BDAR staff is available on call 24/7 for try it once foster families, and we will help you every step of the way from intake to adoption.

Once your first foster is adopted, the decision to continue fostering is up to you! If you decide to continue we will pair you with a volunteer foster mentor who is available specifically to the needs that you have, and we will schedule a general volunteer and foster home orientation for you to attend.

Frequently Asked Questions


How long are animals in foster homes? The average stay in a foster home is about 4-6 weeks. However, some dogs and cats may stay only a few days. Others may stay much longer. 

Am I responsible for finding my foster its home? All animals are posted on our website and several pet listing sites. They are also promoted at adoption drives, social media, and through you! While you are not responsible for finding your foster’s forever home, simple steps like sharing a foster cat on social media, or taking your foster dog for walks in local parks will help find potential adopters.

If I have my own animals, can I foster? Yes, in fact, almost all of our Foster Home Program volunteers have their own pets.

What supplies are needed to foster? Foster parents provide space, basic training, exercise, socialization, treats, toys, and love for the dog or cat. We will provide you with all the other supplies and equipment needed, as well as vet care.

How much time each day is needed to foster? Commitment and responsibilities depend on the individual animal and situation. Foster parents must be willing to be patient and commit to the foster because our goal is to keep them in a stable and consistent environment.

Can I return my foster animal if I am unable to foster any longer? We prefer that foster parents continue to foster until we find a permanent home for their foster. However, we understand that situations change and it may become necessary to transfer a foster. 

What if I go on vacation or have a business trip? We can find volunteers that can foster sit for short durations, or place the dog in temporary boarding. Please give us as much warning as possible for these incidents.