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HSDR's Foster Program

Each animal in our care must be medically and behaviourally fit to be adopted.  Foster homes are used to achieve this so they can ultimately find a forever home.  

Many dogs and cats are surrendered to HSDR due to medical or behavioural issues.  These issues can worsen in the shelter environment.  Foster homes provide a quiet and relaxing environment for sick animals to recuperate after treatment.  Experienced foster parents use positive reinforcement training to help animals learn desirable behaviour.  This will help them get adopted.

During ‘Kitten Season’, between March and November, the shelter overflows with pregnant cats and many litters of kittens.  Some are orphaned.  Kittens are cared for in foster homes until they are old enough to be adopted. Fostering kittens entails providing a clean home, having socialization and play time, giving medical care when needed and bringing them in for regular checkups with the medical staff at HSDR.

Small animals are surrendered to HSDR as many people do not realize the responsibility of owning these breeds.  They need specialized care and attention.  Foster parents provide individual attention which allows them to thrive.  This will help them get adopted.

Foster Parent Application

Submit application

Submit Application

The application asks for information about your family, household and experience. Download the Foster Application and email it to  Otherwise, call the shelter and speak to one of our staff.


Discuss Application

We thank all applicants. However, only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.The interviewer will discuss your application and provide information about the foster process.


Foster Orientation

Orientation will inform you about HSDR and the role of foster parents. Manuals and hands-on training will be provided.

foster application

Foster Parent Requirements

  • Must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Personal pets must be spayed/neutered and fully vaccinated.
  • Have a separate room to isolate a foster animal.
  • Devote time to care for the foster animals.
  • Have reliable transportation.
  • If renting, have landlord’s consent.
  • Have family consensus.
  • Attend scheduled appointments.
  • Abide by the foster agreement.
  • Attend an orientation session.

Foster Job Descriptions


What supplies will I need?


HSDR will provide all supplies, from food and medication to blankets and towels. If you run out of anything during your fostering time, you can contact the Foster Department to arrange a pickup of more supplies.

Can I foster if I have pets at home?


Yes, if you have a separate room for the foster animal.  A sanctuary room should be easy to clean and disinfect and be safe for animals.

What if I work all day?


Individuals who work all day can be foster parents.  However, it will affect which animals you can foster.  Eg.  Animals with special needs may require regular monitoring.  Your schedule will be discussed during the interview.

Do I need to have experience?


No.  Training will be provided.   However, preference is given to individuals experienced with the type of animal they wish to foster.  Animals with complex cases will be assigned to more experienced foster parents.  HSDR is available to assist and guide you if needed.

What is the time commitment?


There is no set commitment. Depending on the animal, it can range from days to months.  A time estimate will be provided.

How often will the foster animal need to come in for appointments?


The appointments will vary depending on the animal.  You will be informed of all your animal’s appointments. Foster parents are required to bring the animal to the shelter for those.  Contact HSDR if the animal gets sick and seek immediate medical attention if needed.

Can I adopt after the foster period ends?


Yes.  Foster parents can adopt their foster animal.  If interested, notify HSDR before the foster period ends.  The regular adoption process (application, interview and adoption fees) must still be followed.