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.

As the name suggests, Fospice  combines foster care and hospice or end-of-life care. These animals have been diagnosed with life-limiting, non-contagious illnesses that prevent adoption. Fospice volunteers give these animals a safe, caring and comfortable end-of-life experience in a home environment. While they may not have much time left, they still have a lot of love and affection to give to the right home.

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’d love to have you as a Foster Parent! To get started, please submit an application through the link below. To contact our Foster Supervisor call 510-563-4632 or email

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.

Our upcoming orientations are:

Saturday, January 18th at 2:00 PM – Oakland
Sunday, January 26th at 10:30 AM – Dublin
Saturday, February 15th at 11:00 AM – Oakland
Sunday, February 23rd at 10:30 AM – Dublin
Saturday, March 14th at 11:00 AM – Oakland
Sunday, March 22nd at 10:30 AM – Dublin
Saturday, April 18th at 11:00 AM – Oakland

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.

You Might Also Like

Behavior and Training

Volunteer East Bay SPCA

Veterinary Clinic East Bay SPCA

Behavior and Training

Learn to speak a language your pet will understand.


Improve your life and theirs. Our varied volunteer activities will enhance your life and theirs.

Veterinary Clinic

Let us help your pet’s health! Our full-service Veterinary Clinic offers high-quality, affordable care and services for the public and shelter animals.