What does it mean to be a pet foster parent? We’re debunking some common misconceptions about fostering cats and dogs:

FACT: It depends! While some dogs require more space, including a yard, many small dogs and all cats can thrive in small homes or apartments. For kittens, you may only need an extra bathroom or enclosed playpen.

FACT: While foster pets should have their own safe and secure space, many of our foster parents have cats, dogs, or kids of their own. Every animal is different, but after a proper adjustment period, many pets even welcome a temporary playmate! Our foster mentors will be there to help provide support as you introduce your foster cat or dog to their temporary home.

FACT: We hear this worry a lot! As a foster with IAR, you play a major role in reviewing and approving your foster animal’s adoption applications. Because you get to know the applicants, you can make sure your foster pet is going to their perfect forever home. Many of our fosters feel full of excitement and joy when their foster animal is finally adopted! Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to welcome a new foster animal into your home.

FACT: IAR provides all of the supplies, veterinary care, and behavioral training that your foster pet needs, so you can focus on providing them with love and affection!

FACT: Most of our foster parents are not trained animal professionals—they’re “regular” animal lovers! IAR will provide the necessary training, support, and mentorship as you begin your journey as a foster parent.

Foster Support Roles

Not quite ready or able to foster? We have a wide range of foster support roles available:

  • Respite Caregiver – Provide temporary care for an IAR dog or cat while the foster parent is away. This is especially needed over the holidays!
  • Cat Support Roles
    • Cat socialization: Visit cats staying at one of the pet stores or in a foster home to give them extra attention and playtime.
    • Pet Store Caregiver: Provide care and entertainment for cats staying at adoption centers.
    • Adoption Event Host: A fun way to spend an afternoon once a month!
  • Dog Support Roles
    • Walk, exercise, and spend time visiting/cuddling/playing with the dogs
    • Take photos and write up profiles
    • Take dogs to vet clinic and other appointments
    • Take dogs to adoption events, meet and greets, etc