Become a Foster

Welcome to the Heartwarming World of Animal Fostering!

At Humane Society Naples, we believe in the transformative power of fostering animals. Every furry friend deserves a loving home and a chance to thrive, and fostering provides exactly that. Here’s why becoming a foster parent to a shelter animal is not just important, but incredibly rewarding:

  1. Saving Lives: When you foster an animal, you’re directly saving a life. Shelters often face overcrowding, and by opening your home to a foster pet, you’re creating space for another animal in need. It’s a simple act that makes a huge difference.
  2. Providing Love and Comfort: Many animals in shelters have experienced trauma or neglect. Fostering gives them the opportunity to heal in a nurturing environment, surrounded by love and care. Your compassion can help them overcome their past and learn to trust again.
  3. Preparing for Adoption: Fostering helps animals become more adoptable. By living in a home environment, they learn valuable socialization skills and receive personalized attention. This makes them more adaptable to their forever homes, increasing their chances of finding a perfect match.
  4. Tailored Care: Whether it’s providing medication, extra attention, or specialized training, foster parents play a crucial role in meeting the individual needs of each animal. Your dedication ensures they receive the best possible care during their transition period.
  5. Emotional Fulfillment: The joy of seeing a once timid or scared animal blossom into a happy, confident pet is unparalleled. Fostering creates a deep sense of fulfillment and purpose, knowing that you’ve played a vital role in transforming an animal’s life.

Benefits to the Animal

  1. Stress Reduction: Animals in shelters can experience high levels of stress due to the unfamiliar environment and constant noise. Fostering provides a calm and quiet atmosphere where they can relax and feel safe.
  2. Socialization: Living in a home environment exposes animals to various stimuli, helping them become more comfortable around people, other pets, and everyday household activities. This socialization improves their behavior and increases their chances of successful adoption.
  3. Individualized Attention: Foster homes offer one-on-one attention that shelter staff may not always have the time to provide. This personalized care enhances the animal’s physical and emotional well-being, promoting faster recovery and rehabilitation.
  4. Transitional Stability: Fostering bridges the gap between shelter life and permanent adoption. It gives animals stability and consistency during a crucial transitional period, reducing the stress of multiple changes and increasing their chances of successful integration into their forever homes.

Join Us in Making a Difference

By becoming a foster parent, you’re not only changing the life of an animal in need but also enriching your own life in ways you never imagined. Experience the joy, fulfillment, and unconditional love that come with opening your heart and home to a foster pet. Start your rewarding journey with Humane Society Naples today!

Ready to make a difference? Contact us to learn more about our fostering program and how you can become a foster hero!

Interested in fostering?

Foster parents fulfill a critical component of our life-saving work. Any individual, family, or business with the compassion and willingness to help animals in need can serve as a foster parent. Foster terms can range from a few days or weeks to a month or more, depending on the preferences of the foster parent and the needs of the animal. Foster homes are most needed for:

  • Dogs over 40 lbs. who are stressed in the shelter environment
  • Animals who are sick
  • Animals who need behavior training or socialization
  • Animals too shy in the shelter environment
  • Moms with nursing kittens or puppies
  • Orphaned bottle-fed kittens and puppies
  • Animals too young for spay/neuter

Donate Foster Supplies

Foster Cat

Foster Resources

How do I reach the foster team?

Your communication is important to us! Whether it’s urgent or not, we kindly encourage you to reach out to our foster team via email at This is the best way to ensure your message is received and responded to promptly. Plus, having an electronic paper trail helps us stay organized, keeping track of all foster animals, foster parents, and any tasks that need attention. We appreciate your cooperation in helping us provide the best care for our animals!

What supplies do I get?

Our foster team will ensure you have all the supplies you need to take care of your furry friend. However, if you already have some supplies at home, it would be great if you could use them so we can keep our inventory stocked for other fosters who might need them. Don’t worry, though, we’ll always make sure you have what you need!

When it’s time to say goodbye to your foster, please remember to return all the equipment and supplies.

If anything isn’t working quite right or if something gets damaged, just let us know, and we’ll sort it out for you. And when it comes to walking your pup, please stick to the instructions we’ve given you about harnesses, collars, and leashes. And remember, retractable leashes are a no-go—they can be dangerous!

When can I pick up my foster?

Foster animals can be scheduled for pick up any day of the week. Appointments are required for all foster pick-ups or meet & greets.

How do I return my foster to the shelter?

Please schedule all returns at least 24 hours in advance to ensure a smooth process. Same-day returns should only be made in urgent situations. For long-term animal stays, kindly inform us of any scheduling conflicts promptly. Your cooperation ensures the well-being of our animals.

What do I need to know about the health and safety of my foster animal?

Foster animals must receive proper food, water, and shelter indoors. They should not be left outside unleashed, chained, or in a doghouse. All members of the foster household must treat them humanely.


Foster parents are required to administer all meds given exactly as prescribed by the shelter veterinarian.  Behavior medications are not to be discontinued without the consent and instruction from our behavior department and veterinarians, even if you think the animal no longer needs them.

If your foster pet is sent home with long-term or indefinite medications or prescription foods, please provide a 1-week notice for refills. We don’t always have their medications in stock and often must order them.

Heartworm/Flea and Tick Preventative

All cats and dogs, who weigh 3 lbs. or more, are on a monthly heartworm preventative. It’s extremely important that foster pets don’t miss any doses while in your care. The foster team will provide you with the number of anticipated doses you’ll need to administer at home.

Please notify the foster department when your animal’s monthly dose is administered so we can update the animal’s medical records. It is your responsibility to pick up more doses when you run out and your animal is due.

Safe Separation

Since an animal being sent to foster may have an undetected contagious medical condition, the safest method to prevent the spread of disease is to ensure your resident pets are up to date on vaccinations and keep them separate from foster animals for 7-10 days as a precaution. HUMANE SOCIETY NAPLES WILL NOT COVER THE COST OF MEDICAL TREATMENT FOR RESIDENT ANIMALS.

Medical Emergencies

Please consult your Foster Manual if your foster pet is having a medical emergency. If you have an emergency between the hours of 8:30 AM AND 4 PM, you may immediately bring your foster pet to the shelter regardless of whether you can reach someone beforehand.

Preventing Escape

Just a quick reminder to ensure the safety of your foster pet. It’s super important that they stay indoors when unsupervised, even if it’s just in the backyard. And when you’re out and about, always keep them on a leash for their safety. Also, please avoid dog parks altogether.

When coming or going from your home, make sure your pet is securely contained. We know how curious they can be, so it’s best to be extra cautious. For our dog owners, double-check those side gates and fencing to prevent any escape attempts!

In the rare event that your foster pet does manage to get away, please reach out to our foster department right away.

Can my foster animal meet other animals?

For those who share their home with canine companions, it’s advisable to arrange meet-and-greets at the shelter when considering fostering a new dog. These meetings are often mandatory, serving as vital steps in ensuring compatibility. Nonetheless, exercising caution and adhering to recommended protocols remain paramount when introducing a foster animal to resident pets. It is imperative to heed the guidelines provided by the Foster Team or the Behavior Team when facilitating introductions between your foster dog and other canines in public settings. All interactions must occur while leashed and under supervision. Importantly, please note that dog parks are strictly off-limits at all times for foster dogs.

How can I get training for my foster animal?

To ensure the well-being and proper training of our foster pets, any behavior concerns or training requests must be promptly communicated to the Humane Society Naples staff. This can be achieved by emailing the foster team directly.

Foster parents are kindly reminded that enrolling their foster pets in third-party training sessions requires prior approval from Humane Society Naples. This measure ensures consistency in training approaches and fosters a conducive learning environment for the pets.

It is essential to adhere to our approved training methods when conducting any training activities at home. These methods have been carefully selected to promote positive reinforcement and ensure the welfare of the foster pets.

Please note that at Humane Society Naples, we strictly adhere to positive reinforcement training techniques. Therefore, foster pets must be never subjected to punishment, scolding, or physical reprimands for unwanted behavior. Additionally, they should not be exposed to such corrective measures alongside resident pets. This approach prioritizes the emotional well-being and development of our foster pets.

I have behavior concerns about my foster animal, what do I do?

If there are any behavior concerns observed with your foster animal, you must notify the foster team right away so that assistance can be provided before the issue escalates. Examples of concerning behavior are:

  • Barking/Growling/Hissing at known people or strangers
  • Cowering or hiding from people
  • Aggression toward people or other animals (lunging, snapping, barring teeth, biting)
  • Destructive when left alone or in your presence
  • Pacing or whining
  • Crate/Separation anxiety
  • Urinating or defecating when being pet or when scared
  • Easily overstimulated (overly jumpy/mouthy or swatty during play or interaction)
  • Hiding all the time
  • Won’t go outside or come inside
  • Inappropriate urination or litter box issues
  • Guard resources from other pets or people (i.e. food, toys, or guards people)

Help, my foster animal just bit or scratched someone.

If your foster animal bites or scratches a person and breaks the skin, it must be reported to the foster team IMMEDIATELY

Can my foster animal go to daycare?

All foster rules, policies, and protocols apply to all members of your household, with the official foster parent being the primary caregiver. No individuals outside your household are permitted to care for your foster animal without prior approval. DAY CARES AND BOARDING FACILITIES ARE STRICTLY PROHIBITED.

Can my foster animal go on a trip with me?

Foster animals must always remain within 1 hour of Humane Society Naples facilities. If leaving town, you may not take foster pets with you without receiving prior approval from the foster manager. If approval is given, you agree to take full responsibility for the animal’s actions and medical needs while away.

Please provide the foster team with as much notice as possible if you have a trip planned so that a foster sitter can be arranged, or space made available in the shelter.

I want to adopt my foster animal. Is this possible?

As a foster parent, you always get first priority in adopting your foster pet! Just let us know your decision and you can adopt as soon as the animal is cleared.

If someone is interested in adopting my foster animal, what do I need to do?

As you share pics of your foster fur babies with friends and family, you may get people interested in adopting them. If you are fostering an animal that is available for adoption, then you are considered their Adoption Ambassador. As an Adoption Ambassador, you get to select the perfect family for your foster pet as long as the adopters meet the animal’s required criteria.


Someone is interested in adopting my foster animal, but it isn’t available for adoption. What should I do?

If you receive interest in animals not yet ready for adoption, then please let us know right away so we can add a note to the animal’s record. Once cleared for adoption, the adopter you have secured will have 24 hours to sign the adoption contract. All adopters must meet the animals before adoption.

Download a copy of the HSN Foster Manual:

  • Dog Foster Manual
  • Cat Foster Manual