COVID-19 Updates

Thank you for your interest in helping the East Bay SPCA by fostering a shelter dog or cat. We are grateful to have already received an outpouring of support from existing foster volunteers and candidates to help us with the limited number of animals currently in our shelters. We will update this page as our needs change, so please check for new foster opportunities. If you would like to be notified of future foster volunteer opportunities, please fill out our application available below.

Become a Foster Parent

Adoption is Forever but Fostering is Just a Little While

East Bay SPCA foster care volunteers provide temporary care for puppies, dogs, kittens, and cats. Our foster animals are those who may need extra love, attention, training, or time. We are always looking for foster families to save more animals’ lives. Adopting a homeless pet is terrific and provides a home to that one pet; but our fosters are special because they save the lives of many pets!

Animals that are Typically Fostered

Listed below are the types of animals most frequently looking for foster homes. Click each type to find out more.

These animals are typically four weeks or more and can eat on their own. They generally need someone to look after them until they can be placed up for adoption when they reach required weights and the minimum age of eight weeks.

Because they are afraid of the world, these animals need a lot of tender loving care and positive experiences to help to get them come out of their shells.  Typically they are the little ones – Chihuahuas, Terriers or even Chihuahua/Terrier mixes. Once they get to know you, they’ll never want to leave your side.

These dogs  are big and  friendly but typically need to learn some manners with gentle boundaries, exercise and enrichment. Think an 80+ pound “lap dog.”  Some were bred to work so they have energy to spare! Runners/hikers, these dogs are going to be perfect for you.

These cases can vary greatly from animals not quite ready for adoption as they recover from minor illnesses like a cold to those recovering from physical injuries.

The majority of these cases consist of cats awaiting rescue for a variety of reasons – potential barn cats, cats that overstimulate easily or cats with litter box issues. Typically this could take up to 2 weeks while awaiting placement.

Dog Field Trips

Spend couple of hours and help provide enrichment to a shelter dog’s life. Plus, since they’ll go out with an “Adopt Me” bandanna, you might even play a hand in helping them find their forever home! Take them on a walk along the Marina, a hike up in the Oakland hills, or even just a trip to your local Starbucks. We always have dogs that would love any opportunity to get away from the shelter for a bit!

Sleepovers for Dogs

A sleepover is simply the opportunity for a dog to leave the shelter for a night with a foster parent. Sleepovers are a great way to provide mental relief from the stressful shelter environment, maintain physical and emotional health and acclimate the dogs to a home environment so they’re ready for adoption. Sleepovers also help us learn more about a dog’s personality so we can better match them with potential adopters.

How do I get started?

We are thankful for the numerous inquiries about foster opportunities we have already received to help us with the limited number of animals currently in our shelters during Shelter in Place orders. We are currently working on placing our shelter animals and do not have any urgent needs at this time. We will continue to send updates if foster needs change.

If you would like to be notified of future foster volunteer opportunities, please fill out our application below.

Are you ready to become an East Bay SPCA Foster Parent?

Fill out our application below. Our Foster Application and Foster Release form must be completed by any individuals who will be fostering animals.

As our operations return to normal, we will reach out to you with information about upcoming foster orientations so that you are prepared to foster for us in the future. Due to the high volume of inquires we have received, please allow 2-3 weeks for additional information about upcoming training’s. Thank you for your understanding and your interest in helping our shelter animals!

Stay tuned for upcoming orientations:

For more information on fostering, email us at and click here to download our Foster Care Manual.

You can also help our foster animals and their families by donating items from our Wishlist.

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