Five Reasons to Foster

Close up of a girl hugging a rabbit to her body

Have you ever wanted to foster a pet before? You might be surprised to learn that there are many forms of fostering! Luckily, each one is a meaningful way to make a difference in the life of a pet! We all love to snuggle puppies and kittens, but fostering extends far beyond that. Here, we’ll highlight the five reasons to foster for AWS and how each one can help the pets who need us – and YOU – most!

Adoptable Animals

Although pets at AWS have safe and comfortable quarters, receive nutritious food, and get exercise and plenty of snuggles, it’s not the same as being in a home-like setting. That’s where fosters come in! Foster families house and care for pets that are already up for adoption. They provide a loving and temporary home while the pet waits for their permanent one.  Fosters also help advocate for their pet’s adoption. They take the animal out wearing adopt-me vests (dogs only!) or showcase them on their personal social media. Fosters get pets adopted!

Temporary Boarding

Not all the animals who come through AWS go up for adoption. In certain scenarios, we provide temporary boarding services for pet families who are in crisis and need a safe place for their pet to be on a short-term basis. All pets are happier away from the hustle and bustle of shelter life, and these pets are no exception! Many have recently faced trauma and upheaval in their lives (such as a house fire, for example), and need the stability of a home setting. It truly takes a community, and temporarily caring for these pets makes all the difference for them and their people!


Being a new or expecting mother is hard, even for our animal companions! Foster families take in pregnant pets and support them through their maternity stay. Mom and her new arrivals often require a quiet, calm, and supportive environment to develop and grow. Shelters like AWS are often far too loud and busy for that! Sometimes, mom is still pregnant when she arrives and will deliver in foster care. Other times she’s already had the babies. In rare instances, mom isn’t around and the babies must be bottle fed. Kittens are most common, but we do sometimes need puppy, rabbit, or even gerbil baby fosters. Maternity fosters not only make a huge difference for these pet, but families end up with some of the cutest fosters ever!


Every pet is different, and sometimes an animal comes to us with unique medical needs. Whether it’s a broken leg, an infection, or even a long-term disability, a sick or injured animal will usually need a foster home. This is so they can heal away from the hustle and bustle of shelter life. During their stay, the animal will recover and rejuvenate in a relaxing home environment. AWS will cover the cost of all medical expenses, and the pet will be returned for adoption once healed. Depending on the pet’s needs, minor medical care (such as changing bandages or administering medication) may be required. However, we teach our fosters exactly what to do and support them entirely through the process. Medical fosters help pets heal more quickly and more thoroughly by providing love, encouragement, and comfort!

Transport Arrival

AWS is proud to help animals from all around the country! As such, we work with rescue groups to bring in pets from shelters in other states. When these animals are transported over state lines, they require a 2-5 day quarantine period. This gives them time to decompress from their long van ride or plane flight. This is where the transport fosters come in! Foster families will take in these new pets for a short period of time until the quarantine period is over and they can go up for adoption. While our transport program encompasses all types of animals, transport arrival fostering often involves puppies or kittens!

As you can see, fostering is beneficial for everyone! The pet gets a loving, temporary home, and we get kennel space for another animal to take their place in our care. Plus, as the foster, you get all the free snuggles you want!

If you’d like to be a part of our foster network and think you have the time, environment, or lifestyle to meet the needs of pets in a variety of circumstances, please reach out. No matter your family dynamic, we’ll have a pet for you!