Foster an Animal

You get to relish in the love animals bring to your home while enriching their lives and helping to prepare them for loving homes.

Fosters come in all shapes and sizes, from students and younger professionals to families with or without children, to empty nesters and retirees.

Some fosters welcome animals into their homes for several months, others bring our animals home for overnight breaks from the shelter environment. Some fosters bring kittens or puppies into their homes, others welcome senior animals in need of a quiet space. Some fosters offer their homes while an animal is recovering after surgery, while others are eager to help pets learn the ABCs of basic manners. All have big hearts and help to make our animal rescue mission possible.

Welcoming a foster cat or dog into your home, even if only for a short period, can boost their chances of being adopted. You gain valuable insight into the animal’s behavior, attributes, and preferences, helping us to find the right match as that animal’s forever home. And our fosters help to free up shelter space, which allows us to rescue even more animals!

The process to become a foster is straightforward. If you are 18 years of age or older and possess a driver’s license or state I.D, simply fill out and submit our online foster application, and we will email you an invite to an upcoming foster training (via zoom), where you can learn more about fostering and have your questions answered.

Or, if you have questions now, send us an email.

“The Santa Cruz SPCA gave me guidance every step of the way, from choosing a dog I felt comfortable with, to advising on how to bring her into the house and how to transition her to her new family. And they paid for her medical care and shots. They made it easy for me to help!”

– Sandra, Santa Cruz SPCA volunteer foster.

Not sure if fostering is for you? Make sure you’re not being influenced by a few common misconceptions…


Isn’t fostering expensive? When you foster for the Santa Cruz SPCA, all food and medical costs are covered and we provide the supplies needed to care for the animal.
Is fostering is a long-term commitment? Fostering starts from stays as short as overnight. Even a one-night slumber party helps reduce animals stress.
Doesn’t fostering mean looking after animals with behavioral problems? We never send a new foster home with an animal that needs extra behavioral help. We match fosters with animals that will suit their lifestyles and home environments.


Shelter Location

2601 Chanticleer Ave.

Santa Cruz, CA 95065

(P) 831-465-5000 (F) 831-479-8530


Hours of Operation

Mon & Tues - CLOSED

Animal Browsing Wed to Sun 11am - 5pm

*PET FOOD PANTRY - Sundays 1:00pm - 3:00pm

The Santa Cruz SPCA is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the welfare of animals. We receive no government funding, and depend solely on financial support from our friends. Our organization is not affiliated with any other SPCA or Humane Society.

Tax ID: 94-6171565

© 2024 Santa Cruz SPCA