A foster home is a temporary living arrangement for Dallas Animal Services pets. Foster volunteers are crucial to our lifesaving mission. Whether you are a dog person or a cat person and whether you can commit to a short or long-term opportunity, we have a foster opportunity for you!
Before you apply to be a foster, please review our D90 Foster Handbook for a better understanding of our foster policies, expectations, and, depending on the type of foster opportunity you’re interested in, what to look forward to if you choose to foster through DAS!
In order to be a foster with Dallas Animal Services, we do have a few guidelines we expect all foster volunteers to follow:
On any given day, DAS has hundreds of pets in our care. Many of these pets are eligible and in need of foster homes. Our biggest consistent needs for fosters include:
Large Adult Dogs
Fosters for large, adult dogs are ALWAYS needed at DAS. As the only open admissions shelter in the city of Dallas, DAS takes in dozens of new pets each day and our largest population is consistently larger, adult dogs. Providing a foster home for large adult dogs until we can find an adopter or a rescue partner willing to take them not only frees up kennel space for us to bring in new dogs, but it’s also a great way for us to learn more about how that dog’s personality in a home environment.
Kitten fosters for orphaned kittens are needed especially during the Spring and Summer months. These fosters help raise orphaned kittens until they are old enough to receive their spay/neuter surgery and become available for adoption.
Short-term “Ticket to Ride” Eligible Dogs
Ticket-to-Ride short term fosters take in adult dogs that have already been designated for a transport to one of our rescue partners. This is a shorter-term foster opportunity and most of our “Ticket-to-Ride” fosters take in a dog for just a week or two until their scheduled transport.
Pets with Medical Needs
Medical fosters take in dogs and/or cats who need time to heal before they are able to be placed up for adoption or transferred to a rescue partner. Time commitment for these fosters will vary based on the medical needs of the pet.
Moms with Babies
Fosters for mom and babies are needed if we get in a whole family or pregnant mom who is expected to give birth soon. The nice thing about fostering families like this is that typically, mom does most of the work and as the foster, you get to just monitor and make sure everyone is happy and healthy until the babies are old enough for placement and mom is no longer needed to provide care and can also be made available.
The time commitment for foster parents really depends on the foster pet they have taken in. Some are in foster homes just a few days before we are able to find an adopter and some need more time to become ready for adoption due to their age or medical needs. Once you’ve applied to be a foster you can discuss what you are able to commit to and what pets might be a good fit for you to foster.
DAS can provide supplies if needed for fostering but only as we have them available and if requested. If you’re currently fostering a pet and are in need of specific supplies, please email our foster team at DASfoster@dallas.gov.
While smaller dogs are sometimes available for fostering, we are typically much more in need of fosters for larger adult dogs. Small dogs do tend to get adopted or transferred to our rescue partners more quickly so, unless they have medical restraints, we typically don’t have as many small dogs available for fostering. View pets currently in need of a foster so that you can get a good idea for what our general foster needs are on any given day.
Of course! Many of our current DAS fosters live in apartments. We’d recommend double checking your apartment’s pet policy and, if you feel necessary, speaking with your leasing office to discuss fostering. Contrary to popular beliefs, fostering a pet does not require a ton of space. Most adult dogs are just happy to be out of the shelter and in the presence of a human and can make any space work. Puppies and kittens can even be kept to one room – a bathroom or powder room can work great – or even a play pen set up.
Yes, of course! We do need our fosters to be within reasonable driving distance of our main shelter (1818 North Westmoreland Road, Dallas, TX 75212) in case of emergencies. Additionally, if the pet you’re fostering has any medical needs, we want to make sure you can easily bring him or her into the shelter for any medical appointments but many of our fosters do live outside of Dallas city limits.
Yes, of course! DAS foster pets often LOVE having siblings to show them the ropes of living in a home. Our foster team can go over the best practices for introducing a foster pet to other pets in the home prior to taking them in. Foster siblings also give us valuable information to help us market your foster pet to adopters. We do assess all dogs on how they get along with other dogs in playgroups so we will typically have some information on that before sending to a foster home.
It is against our foster policies to take any DAS foster pets to public dog parks. If your foster dog is outside, please adhere to City of Dallas ordinance and make sure he or she is restrained to a secure, fenced in yard or is on a leash at all times.
The DAS Foster team utilizes two applications to provide medical support to fosters. The Anipanion app is used for virtual medical support from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. The My/CA app will contact fosters with a representative from WCA Animal Hospitals from 3 p.m. to 9 a.m. daily.
For additional support, please email DASFoster@dallas.gov.
That’s okay! If the foster pet you currently have isn’t working out in your home, make an appointment here to return your foster pet.
We would also encourage you to look over our 3-3-3 Rule Flyer which covers what you can expect from a recently adopted pet at 3 days, 3 weeks, and 3 months. Going to a new environment can overwhelm many pets so it is important to give them some time to go at their own pace.
Have another question? Email our foster team at DASFoster@dallas.gov with any additional questions you might have about fostering for DAS