Foster Requirements ››
Foster Applications ››
Fostering 101 Slideshow ››
Why I Foster; A Testimonial ››

Know the Reward of Saving Two Lives!

When you foster a homeless dog or cat, you are saving the lives of two animals–the one you care for and one who fills the newly opened space in our shelter. Some of our animals need to heal, mature or decompress a little before they can be adopted out. They may be too young, too sick, or not socialized enough.  Some just do not adapt to shelter life or have been here for a long time and need to move to a home environment. Would you like to help them get back on their paws? Give a stressed, homeless animal a chance to decompress, remember what it’s like to be in a loving home, and brush up on its training so it can be adopted.

We are currently looking for people with behavior experience to assist us with some of our more challenging shelter pets. If you do not have skills in this area, please check back with us in the spring when we expect to have more general foster care opportunities available. 

Behavior Foster Parent – Cats

While many of our cats are off to their new homes within a matter of days, some need more time and patience. We often have shy or under-socialized cats that need a quiet place to land while they learn to trust again. Most behavior foster homes have their foster cats in their homes for   2-4 weeks.

Typical Behavior Foster Parent duties include:

  • Having experience with under-socialized or high arousal cats
    • Under-socialized cats: these cats typically did not receive consistent positive interactions with humans as kittens and may hiss, swat and run away from humans.
    • High arousal cats: these cats have a tendency to get overly aroused by some interactions with humans and typically do not tolerate prolonged petting.
  • Offering appropriate exercise and socialization
  • Offering their foster cat a quiet area in the home where the pet can be away from noise and activity
  • Isolating foster pets from household pets, especially in the beginning
  • Being willing to be patient with potentially slow progress
  • Working with suggestions from BHS staff on how to set your foster cat up for success

Behavior Foster Parent – Dogs

While many of our dogs are off to their new homes within a matter of days, some need more time and patience. We often have rambunctious canines that are struggling in the shelter and need a structured home environment. Most behavior fosters will have their foster dog in their home for 2-4 weeks.

Typical Behavior Foster Parent duties include:

  • Having experience in positive reinforcement dog training
  • Offering appropriate exercise and socialization
  • Having experience with:
    • Highly exuberant dogs: dogs with lots of energy may also jump and mouth either trying to play or get attention.
    • Dogs with separation anxiety: dogs with separation anxiety may bark or howl, be destructive, and urinate and/or defecate in the house when left alone.
    • Dogs with possessive behavior: dogs with possessive behavior may show teeth, growl and snap when things that are important to the dog are touched or approached.
  • Working with large and sometimes rowdy dogs
  • Having patience to deal with housebreaking mishaps or chewing incidents
  • Understanding that many of our dogs would do best in a home without other pets or young children
  • Working with suggestions from BHS staff on how to set your foster dog up for success

Here’s what our fosters have to say about our foster program:

“In the last 7 years, my daughter and I have fostered for 2 other rescues before finding BHS. We actually live in PA and I just love BHS and how they operate. Everyone there has been super to work with (not our previous experience elsewhere) and treat you just like an employee!” – Lisa Ogg

Foster Volunteer Applications:

Thank you for your interest in becoming a foster care volunteer. Please click on the link below that corresponds with the application for the type of animal you would like to foster. 

PLEASE NOTE: We are currently recruiting kitten fosters, and behavior and medical dog fosters. Please read the information and submit an application only if you are able to help in one of these capacities.



To Foster you must:

  • Be at least 23 years of age.
  • Complete a Foster Care Application, and attend an orientation session with Foster Coordinator, and Trainer.
  • Provide your own transportation for routine veterinary appointments at our clinic (approx. every 2-3 weeks for booster shots for kittens/puppies)
  • BHS will cover basic animal care expenses (food, litter, etc.) BHS is also responsible for all medical expenses.
  • Willingness to actively ‘market’ your foster animals and assist in finding them forever homes (by attending our adoption events, etc.)
  • All pets in the foster home must be spayed/neutered unless medically cleared by a licensed Veterinarian.
  • All pets must be up to date on age appropriate vaccines unless medically cleared by a licensed Veterinarian.

For more information about becoming a foster care provider, please email Katie at or Kate at

Fostering 101 Slideshow

Fostering 101 slideshow dp from wg1


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