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I Want to Foster

What is a Foster Home?

A foster home is a temporary living situation for pets while they are awaiting placement in a permanent home or to move to one of our partnership organizations. Foster families provide shelter, food, care and love. If you’re looking for the companionship of a pet without a long term commitment or looking for a way to volunteer from home – consider becoming a foster parent!

How Long Can I Expect to Foster a Pet?

Fosters will keep animals an average of 4-6 weeks unless it is medically or behaviorally indicated otherwise. Some pets need more time, some need less. You will be told up-front before you agree to foster the pet how long of a commitment we believe it will be and we can match you with a pet that meets your availability! No matter what length of commitment you’re looking for, we can find a match for you!

What are the Responsibilities of a Foster Family?

  • Provide a safe, clean, caring environment
  • Provide food, water, litter, toys/enrichment, and shelter
  • Provide exercise and socialization as appropriate
  • Monitor any medical and/or behavioral problems and in some cases provide veterinary care.
  • Transport to/from offsite adoption events as needed
  • Upon receiving your foster pet, it is necessary that you isolate them from other animals in the home for a minimum of 10-14 days. This isolation is especially important for cats and bottle baby kittens.

What animals have the greatest foster need?

Kittens! Some are orphaned and need to be bottle fed, while others are weaned but need to reach 2 lbs. before they can be spayed/neutered and adopted. Others have just been born and they and their mothers need a safe space to grow up.

Can’t foster kittens? No problem!

We have adult cats, puppies, and adult dogs that also need foster homes.

Can I adopt my foster animal?

Excluding our foster pets involved in the transport program, you may adopt your foster pets! But first, you’ll need to bring your foster animal to Spay Memphis to be spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped before official adoption. After completing the adoption paperwork and process, you’ll be free to take your new pet home with the adoption fee waived. You will know upfront whether it’s possible to adopt your foster pet through Memphis Animal Services.

I work during the day, can I still be a foster parent?

Absolutely! You can foster weaned puppies and kittens, mothers with litters, or adult pets that do not need around-the-clock care.

How do I become involved?

It’s easy! Go to Memphis Animal Services or contact our Volunteer and Outreach Specialists to fill out a foster application and get started! For kittens, email Katie Curtis at For dogs, email Bradley Barton at

If fostering for MAS doesn't sound like the right fit for you, click here to learn more about fostering for one of MAS's Pet Placement Partners! Most of the rescue groups we work with are foster-based and aren't able to save pets from the shelter without foster homes!


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