Any glimpse into the life of an
animal quickens our own and
makes it so much the larger
and better in every way.
- John Muir

Young woman holding dog Close up of dog


Foster Care

Becoming a temporary foster family for shelter pets is the best way to help KCHA!  Foster families provide respite care for animals not yet ready for adoption, or when the shelter is over capacity. Have questions? Email

We have three categories of animals needing foster care:

Foster to Wean - Each spring and summer season, we receive approximately 2,000 puppies and kittens.  Many of these are orphaned, nursing, or born in care.  Newborns are susceptible to disease, making the shelter too dangerous for them.  We need foster families to help the babies reach eight weeks of age so they can be adopted. 

Foster to Heal - We frequently receive ill or injured animals who need special care.  Animals who are recovering from surgery, require medical treatment, and others with special needs recuperate better in a loving home than in a stressful shelter environment. 

Foster to Adopt - At KCHA, we can only help as many animals as our facility allows, and occasionally we need the help of foster families to expand

Becoming a Foster Family

To become a foster family, we suggest attending Fostering 101.  This orientation session will cover everything you need to know about animal care, allow you to meet our friendly staff, and develop an understanding of how fostering supports KCHA's mission.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do animals need to stay in foster care?

The typical foster stay is two weeks to two months, depending on the needs of the individual animal(s) in your care. The time frame of each foster situation will be discussed with you ahead of time.

What kind of animals need foster care?

Puppies and kittens under two months, mothers with nursing babies, dogs or cats with medical conditions or injuries, and special needs animals.

Can I become a foster volunteer if I have pets of my own?

Yes, we welcome pet owners as foster volunteers. Please keep in mind that there is always a health risk when exposing your pets to other animals in any setting. However, the risk is minimal if your pets are vaccinated and in good health.

What expenses are involved in foster care?

Foster families provide housing, food, bedding and toys for the animals in their care. They also provide exercise, socialization, and lots of love! KCHA provides all medical care for the animals in foster care, including vaccinations, spay/neuter surgeries and medications.

How do I care for a bottle baby kitten?

Watch this great video to learn how! Have questions about how to care for kittens, common kitten medical issues, or kitten development stages? Check out Austin Humane Society’s Foster Kitten Handbook to get answers to the common questions and learn more about fostering procedures.