Become a Foster

*SPECIAL ALERT: If you are visiting this page with the intent of joining our Hurricane Harvey Foster Team – thank you! Please scroll down and click on the foster application link. Note your intent to join this team at the end of the app. Thank you!

The Anti-Cruelty Society’s Foster Program

Choosing to become a foster parent is a decision that can feel overwhelming and exhilarating all at once. Inviting an unknown animal into your home for short-term care is one of the most rewarding ways that you can help a pet in need, and by choosing to join the foster team, you are choosing to save lives. Learn more about what it takes to join this committed team of volunteers by reviewing the information below.

 About the Program

Animals are nominated for foster candidate status by our team of behavior specialists and veterinarians. Our staff provides foster volunteers with direction on what care is needed for each individual animal and an estimate of how long the animal will be in their homes.

Foster parents are notified of an animal’s availability for placement through our official Foster Candidate page, which is updated by staff members on a regular basis. Our foster support team also provides regular check-ins with foster parents that have animals in their care, providing an opportunity for them to ask questions about the animal’s behavior and health on a regular basis.

Prospective fosters are encouraged to review our comprehensive Foster Manual for an inside look at the program before applying to join the team. If you are interested in fostering, but find that caring for pets with outstanding needs daunting, consider joining our Adoption Ambassadors program. Additional information about this unique project can be found here.

Program Requirements

  • Pet care experience
  • Access to a reliable source of transportation
  • Primary caretaker must be at least 18 years of age
  • Basic computer skills and an active email address
  • Renters must provide landlord’s name and phone number
  • Fosters with their own pets must provide proof of vaccination
  • All adult members of the household must consent and agree to provide foster care

Additional Qualifications

  • Strong communication skills
  • Support our mission and philosophies
  • Utilize positive reinforcement training techniques
  • Commit to fostering at least four animals each year

Step 1: Complete a Foster Program Application

To join our dedicated team of foster volunteers complete our Foster Application.

Step 2: Complete Foster Training

After we review your candidacy for the Foster Program, a member of our staff will contact you regarding next steps, the first is to prepare for training by reading the Foster Manual and watching our virtual volunteer orientation.

During your one-on-one foster orientation, our staff will teach you the ins and outs of how to select, pick-up, care for, and return your foster animal. You will also learn valuable training techniques, as well as what to do in the event of an emergency. Foster orientation also includes a behind-the-scenes tour of the Society.

Step 3: Schedule First Foster

Once you have completed foster orientation, you will be in touch with our foster support team to schedule your first care cycle. At the time of your first pick-up, you will also be asked to pay a one-time $25 foster fee, which will be applied toward your foster license registration with the state of Illinois.

If you have questions regarding our traditional foster track, please send them to

Thank you to our partners whose support makes our work possible