Foster animals

Foster Animals

Open your house to a pet who needs a home

When your community has dogs or cats that need your love and care (because they are very young, sick, or the shelter has limited space), you can provide a temporary home.


Possible recipients

The grateful inhabitants of your local animal shelter.

What you’ll need

  • A love of animals.
  • The time and commitment to help the animal you foster. Typically, your family’s main responsibility will be to handle and cuddle the animals frequently so they can become well-socialized pets for the families that eventually adopt them.


  • Call your local animal shelter to find out your fostering options.
  • Ask which supplies and services (food, vet care, etc.) the shelter provides and which you will need to contribute.
  • Prepare yourselves and your home for the new addition.
  • Always supervise interactions between foster animals and young children.


  • Do you have other pets? How do you think they might feel if we were unable to care for them?
  • Why is it important to help living things other than people?
  • What are other ways we can show animals we love them?


Featured Book for June 2015 Big-Hearted Families™ book club subscribers!

Featured Book for June 2015 Big-Hearted Families™ book club subscribers!

  • The Little Blue Dog by Karen Roberts. Ages 4-8. This was our Big-Hearted Families™ Book Club selection for June 2015! You're family will love this sweet story of life from the perspective of a shelter dog is sure to spark big conversations about love, home, and belonging, necessary comforts for people and pets alike.
  • Before You Were Mine by Maribeth Boelts. Ages 4-8. A young boy thinks about the life of his dog before he adopted him from an animal shelter.
  • The Shelter Dog by Christine Davis. Ages 4-8. Hero, an angel dog, decides he wants to go back to earth to be a shelter dog so a loving family can choose him as their pet. Slowly he realizes that living in a shelter isn’t as nice as it appears.
  • Three Stories You Can Read to Your Cat by Sara Swan Miller. Ages 8 and up. Three silly stories about the adventures of being a cat.

Take it further

  • Gather the kids to make dog biscuits or toys for the animals you foster. If you have extras, the shelter would love to have them!

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