Become a Lifesaving Foster

No Experience Required to Foster!

Fosters provide a temporary home for pets in our care while they are awaiting their forever home. There are so many benefits to opening your home to foster a dog or cat, but just to name a few: 

  • Have an animal companion without the lifetime commitment at no financial cost to you.
  • Help an animal recover from an illness/injury. Shelter environments are very stressful for animals and they are able to heal much more easily in a home setting.
  • Give extra TLC to puppies and kittens too young to be adopted.
  • Help animals transition from the stress of living at the shelter.
  • Keep our shelter open for being able to intake more animals. If our shelter is full, we cannot save more animals.
  • Provide experience in a home setting helps the animals get adopted more easily.
What is a foster home?

A foster home is an extension of an animal shelter’s lifesaving capacity made possible through partnerships with the public. Through fostering, members of the public provide temporary shelter, food, care, and love for pets in need.

Foster homes increase a shelter’s ability to save lives by preserving shelter space for other pets in need. But a foster home doesn’t just improve a shelter’s lifesaving statistics, it improves the quality of life for each individual pet it saves. Time and time again, foster homes have proven to transform pets for the better, significantly improving their mental and physical well being. Put simply, a foster home saves lives AND makes those lives better.

How long do I keep a foster pet?

We ask that you keep your foster until adoption, but expect at least a two week commitment (although there are frequently shorter-term options available such a temp foster or slumber pawty foster). We are unable to predict how long it will take for your foster pet to be adopted as it is case specific. We have many pets who get adopted within one week but others take one month or longer. Don’t let an upcoming vacation or trip out of town deter you from fostering as we do provide temp fosters to cover while you are out of town.

How old do you have to be to foster?

Our fosters need to be at least 18 years old.

What does Gateway Pet Guardians provide to fosters?
  • Behavioral and training resources, medical resources, and general assistance with caring for your foster pet.
  • All of the basic pet food and supplies (crate, collar, leash, etc.).
  • Pet sitters (temp fosters) for when you go out of town.
  • All medical care for the pet as deemed appropriate by our Medical Team.
What are my responsibilities as a foster?
  • Provide a safe, clean, caring environment.
  • Provide exercise and socialization as appropriate.
  • Monitor any medical and/or behavioral problems.
  • Transport to/from any necessary vet appointments.
  • Actively participate in marketing your foster pet.
  • Communicate with and meet with potential adopters; be responsive and courteous towards each potential adopter.
  • Carefully read all documents and carefully follow all instructions provided by Gateway Pet Guardians.
Why foster?

Fostering saves lives! The number of animals we save depends entirely on the number of foster homes we have available. Foster homes truly help us save many more animals than we could with just our shelter.

Who do I contact if I want to be a foster or have questions about fostering?
Email foster@gatewaypets.org with questions or to get more information about fostering with Gateway Pet Guardians.
What if I can't commit 2+ weeks to fostering an animal?

Check out our Temporary Foster Program and Slumber Pawty Programs, both outlined below. These programs provide opportunities to help pets with a shorter commitment.



The Gateway Pet Guardians Slumber Pawty is one of the most fun and lifesaving programs at GPG!  The concept is simple:  take a shelter dog home for a night or two (or more!) which provides the dogs with a much needed break from the stress of the shelter environment. 

Become a


A Unicorn foster is someone that has the perfect home set up to take an animal that may be harder to place in the standard home. You may have no kids, pets, or people over often. You will be helping to save what many often call ‘the unsavable’.



As a Foster Guardian, you can provide support to animals in foster by assisting with basic care, behavior and training; providing advanced care, behavior and training; offering medical assistance; transportation; marketing; and socialization and pack development.

Become a


Sometimes foster families need to take vacations, have visitors over, or just need a break from fostering. That’s where our temp fosters come in! Temporary fosters care for an animal for a short period of time, providing some respite to the foster family. It could be a weekend stay or a week-long visit.