Foster Volunteers

Are you looking for snuggles and companionship? Want to make a meaningful impact on your community? Show us some love by becoming an AWS foster family!!

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Show us the love

Whether taking an AWS resident pup for a lunch date or afternoon adventure, overseeing a rabbit’s recovery from surgery for a week or two, or caring for a litter of kittens for a summer, foster families make a huge difference for the pets in our community, including the pets waiting for new “forever” homes at AWS.

Pets need foster care for a variety of reasons – some for a day or two, some for an extended period of time. Each pet’s needs are unique, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of foster family. Families, couples, individuals, roommates – no matter your family set up or your home environment – there will be a pet (or two or three!) that can use your love and companionship.

Apply to Foster

Ready to get started? Select your preferred animal to access our foster care application. Soon after you submit your application, we’ll be in touch.

Are you a unicorn? Unicorn fosters fill a very special need. They are the unique individuals and families who do not have any pets at home. Thus, they can take in a foster dog or cat that must be the only pet in the household.

Take a dog on a date

Join our growing community of dog date fosters!

We are looking for short-term fosters to show our dogs some love. Short-term fostering is unique for each dog and give them time away from the Adoption Center to have a fun outing in the community.

We’ll work with you (and your schedule) to make sure it’s the date of your dreams! It’ll be one you won’t forget and certainly one your doggy date will remember always. ????

Types of Dog Dates

  • A Leisurely Lunch Date
  • A Half-Day Adventure
  • A Daylong Field Trip
  • An Overnight Sleepover
  • A Weekend Getaway

The Dog Date program runs 7 days a week, though date scheduling is dependent on our dog population at any given time.

If you (or you and your partner, or you and your friend – our dogs aren’t jealous!) can take a dog out soon, fill out your dating profile and we’ll be in touch!

Once you’ve filled out the form and heard back from us, you’re officially a short-term foster and ready to date! Whenever you want to take a dog on a date, give us a call a few days in advance at (207) 985-3244. We’ll work on getting something set up. Dog date scheduling always depends on how many dogs we have in care, their availability and their compatibility with your proposed activity. Most dogs are happy to go out for ice cream, not every dog likes to hike. It takes a little matchmaking on our part to make sure it’s an ideal date!

Fostering Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions or would like to chat with someone to find out if you’re a good candidate to become a foster family, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Volunteer & Foster Coordinator via email or at (207) 985-3244 ext. 121.

Nope, unicorn foster families look after dogs and cats – it’s the humans who are the unicorns. That means they are rare and extra special. A unicorn foster is one who does not have any dogs or cats at home.

By not having their own pets, unicorn foster families take in foster dogs or cats that must be the only pet. This could be a cat recovering from an illness (that is cross-species contagious) or a dog that finds it too stressful to have other dogs around. Or simply a dog or cat that is used to being king or queen of their castle and can’t imagine it any other way. Some pets just like to be the one and only and we want to find foster homes that can meet these needs.

By becoming a unicorn foster, you are helping in a very special way! You are helping pets that really need you. You are the rare and extra special light in their lives. You make all the difference to one-and-only pets in need.

Want to become a unicorn foster? We have pets waiting just for you!

Absolutely! We will work with your schedule. And if you’re planning a vacation or must be away while you have a foster pet, we can help with that too!

No, it is not a requirement at all. But we love when our foster families help our adoptable pets find their forever homes. If you have any questions about finding homes for your foster pets, please don’t hesitate to ask!

In most circumstances, that is fantastic! We love when it’s love at first sight and our fosters become adopters. We’ll let you know in advance if your pet isn’t available for adoption for a particular reason.

You’ll need a room or space, ideally away from other pets, especially at first, while the foster pet gets acclimated. Aside from that, AWS will provide everything else you need – food, medication, bedding, water bowls, litter, toys, etc. All you need to provide is loving care!

When you’re ready to take a dog on a date, give us a call a few days in advance at (207) 985-3244. We’ll work on getting something set up. Dog date scheduling always depends on how many dogs we have in care, their availability and their compatibility with your proposed activity.

It depends on each dog. Some dogs are super social and would love to visit a dog park, while other prefer to be with people-only. Some dogs are active and love to take a hike, while others are couch potatoes who would be happy chilling with you at a park, or even at your house. To date, we haven’t had a dog say no to an ice cream date!


For more information, please contact our Volunteer & Foster Coordinator via email or telephone at (207) 985-3244 ext. 121

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Jackie the guinea pig and his friend Chelsea want you to know that they're Team #awsdog! Just like guinea pigs, dogs love to cuddle and therefore, they deserve the crown. However, those pesky cats remain ahead of the competition! Help Team #awsdog win by donating now! Follow our LinkTree right to the Giving Tuesday page. Woof!
Giving Tuesday is just getting started and Team #awscat is already ahead! If you're a feline fan like our teammate Jesse here, donate to Team #awscat to help them keep the lead!
Team #awsdog is kicking off Giving Tuesday with a little love from Tahoe and his human friend, Sam. When it comes to the question 'which pet is the Coziest Companion: Cats or Canines?', Tahoe and Sam are here to say Team #awsdog all the way!!

If you feel the same, donate to the cause and help canines everywhere win the day!
The cats and dogs at AWS are ready for another friendly competition this Giving Tuesday on November, 28! Who will win?This year's competition centers around which species is the Coziest Companion: Cats or Canines? Throughout the day on Giving Tuesday, follow along on our social media pages as the pets and people of AWS try to convince you which of their favorite species deserves your support as the coziest, cuddliest animal. 

Remember, the team who raises the most funds on Tuesday will be crowned this year’s Giving Tuesday winner. Most importantly, all funds raised in this friendly competition support pet care here at AWS. We look forward to seeing which pet comes out on top as the coziest companion! 

(psst! You can help your favorite team get ahead by donating early on our website. Just follow the link tree in our profile to the Giving Tuesday page!)