Foster an Animal in Need

** We are prioritizing foster recruitment for dogs over 40lbs **   
 If you have a place in your heart and home for animals, consider fostering for the Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center.  Our foster care program lets animal lovers bring pets from our shelter 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.

What are the Requirements to Foster?

Age: The primary caregiver of the foster animal must be at least 18 years old. 

Availability: Foster volunteers should live in the area and/or be willing to drive to our shelter in Derwood, MD on a regular basis. Please consider the potential commute before applying to be a foster. 

Commitment: Fostering may last anywhere from an overnight to several months, depending on the pet's needs and your availability!
Fosters who are Montgomery County residents and own dogs or cats MUST have their pets licensed with the county.

Canine Influenza Isolation Requirements

To foster a dog who is under quarantine for canine influenza:

  • No other pets in the home (some exotics are okay). CIV has been detected in cats, guinea pigs, and ferrets. Due to the difficulty in isolating pets in a household, it is recommended anyone owning one of these pets not foster a dog in isolation.
  • No apartments or residences with shared hallways
  • The dog should remain on the property, if possible, but otherwise should remain at least 20 feet from other dogs on walks. Walks should avoid shared spaces like community courtyards.
  • Absolutely no interactions with other dogs.
  • Wash hands well and change clothing/shoes prior to interacting with other dogs (the same goes for anyone visiting and we recommend not having visitors who have dogs at home).
  • Isolation must be followed through the date specified.

What Should I Expect?

There are many different types of animals who might require foster care. Some may fall into the following categories:

  • Medium to large adult dogs- primarily bully breed (small dogs are not eligible for the foster program at this time)
  • Moms with nursing kittens or puppies.
  • Cats requiring 45 day or 4 month isolation for unknown wounds.
  • Orphaned bottle babies or animals too young to be adopted.
  • Animals who are overwhelmed by the daily stressors of shelter life.
  • Animals who have been at the shelter for a long time
  • SafeKeep Program animals
Supplies and care: We furnish all the supplies you need, including food, litter, bedding, toys, enrichment items, and medical care. 

Behavior assistance: Need some advice on your foster pet's behavior? Our behaviorists have you covered! While the Foster Manuals provide basic information, our behaviorists are available for one on one consults!

Veterinary appointments: Foster parents are responsible for traveling to and from the shelter for medical care and foster care appointments. The frequency of appointments will vary depending on the reason the animal is being fostered.

What if I want to foster a pet to see if it is a good fit for my home?

When adopting an animal you can choose to "foster to adopt". If you are interested in fostering a specific pet to see if they will be a good fit, start the adoption process (don't sign up here!). 

How do I Get Started?

1. Register on our Volunteer Portal and choose "Big Dog Foster" or "Isolation Cat Foster" (if you are open to potentially fostering additional types of animals in the future, send us an email to let us know what types.)
2. Follow the steps on the path!
3. Read the Foster Manuals!
4. Start saving lives! You'll receive emails with animals in need, view our Trello board of priority pets and notices and updates on the volunteer portal!

For questions, please contact our Foster & Rescue Coordinator:
Jennifer Basinger
Foster & Rescue Coordinator
[email protected]



"I enjoy fostering because it allows me to not only spend time with animals I love, but to help out my local shelter and make an impact on dogs that otherwise may never have the opportunity to get adopted"

-MCASAC Foster