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Foster a homeless pet

If you have a place in your heart and home for animals consider fostering for the Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center (MCASAC).  Our foster care program lets animal lovers bring pets from our shelters into their homes on a temporary basis to prepare them for adoption. We know it can sometimes be a challenging experience but know that what you do matters. Every pet that’s fostered has a better chance at a happier and healthier life ahead with a furever family.

Animals who might require foster care:

  • Moms with nursing kittens or puppies
  • Orphaned bottle babies
  • Animals too young to be adopted
  • Animals recovering from surgery or who are sick
  • Animals who need behavior training or socialization
  • Animals too shy or timid in the adoption center environment

Get started

If you are interested in fostering with MCASAC, please follow these steps:

  1. Submit an application
  2. Attend an orientation. You will learn about policies and procedures for the program. Orientations will be held on a quarterly basis.
  3. Fill out background check form.  Forms will be submitted for review and returned in a couple of weeks.  To be admitted to the program you must pass the background check.
  4. Attend foster training. You will learn about program expectations, basic medical information, and have all your questions answered.
  5. Start saving lives. MCASAC will match you with the foster animals that suit your lifestyle.


  • Be of age. The primary caregiver of the foster animal must be at least 18 years old.
  • Be in the area. Foster volunteers must be able to get to our shelter in Derwood Maryland on a regular basis. Please consider the potential commute before applying to foster.

Please note that MCASAC cannot accommodate those seeking to fulfill court-ordered community service.

What You Can Expect

As a foster parent, you may give a mother cat and her kittens a place to live until the kittens are old enough for the entire family to return to the shelter for adoption.  You may be able to take a litter of kittens (or puppies) that have no mother for up to 8 weeks.  You could care for a cat with an upper respiratory Kittensinfection until he feels better, or help rehabilitate a dog with a broken leg that is healing. You might take home a rabbit to make room for new arrivals in our small-mammals area. We have lots of animals that need your care, especially older cats who truly benefit by spending time away from the shelter before they find their forever homes.

Supplies and care. We furnish all the supplies you need, including food, litter, bedding, toys and enrichment items, and medical care. Foster parents are responsible for traveling to and from the shelter for medical care and foster care appointments. The frequency of appointments varies depending on the reason an animal is being fostered.

Commitment. Fostering may last anywhere from two weeks to several months, depending on the pet’s needs.

Joanne Heller
Foster and Rescue Coordinator

Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center
7315 Muncaster Mill Road
Derwood, Md. 20855 

Information for Current Foster Volunteers:

Important Foster Rules and Reminders:

  • Foster dogs must be on leash at all times when outdoors unless in your own secured, fenced yard.
  • Foster dogs may not go to any dog parks or off leash play areas.
  • Foster cats must be kept indoors at all times.
  • Any aggressive behavior or bites/scratches must be immediately communicated to the shelter.
  • Adoption center staff may remove a foster animal from a foster home for any reason.
  • Must be a member of Facebook and have a current E-mail.
  • Must log hours into Volgistics

Online Foster Manual coming soon!

Medical Emergencies

  • Between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., please calls MCASAC’s main line at 240.773.5900, press “7” and ask to speak to the Foster Coordinator or Animal Care Attendant Supervisor.
  • Explain the situation so that staff can explain to you the most appropriate course of action.
  • After 5 p.m. and before 8 a.m., please refer to the schedule below for emergency calls:

For emergency medical situations, please call the applicable number below to notify the on-call staff member.  Then take your foster animal to the Metropolitan Emergency Animal Clinic at 12106 Nebel St., Rockville, MD 20852; Phone: 301.770.5225

  • Joanne Heller, Foster and Rescue Coordinator
    Direct # 240.773.5650


Contact Us: Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center
Department of Police · Animal Services Division
7315 Muncaster Mill Road · Derwood, MD 20855 · Telephone: 240.773.5900 · Fax: 301.279.1063
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