Foster homes enable the Humane Society of Sarasota County to expand our ability to care for animals far beyond the walls of our facility. Volunteers with compassionate hearts and a desire to make a difference are essential in helping our pets in need by offering temporary care in their homes. Being a foster parent is an extremely rewarding experience, and it saves lives.

Click here to submit your foster application.

In-Home Fostering

Fostering is a critical program to all animal welfare organizations; without it, countless pets may not have a second chance at life. As a foster parent, you give a pet the chance to live and be loved in a foster home. You will learn about the pet’s personality and likes and dislikes so that he or she can be better matched to the perfect forever home. Our dedicated foster volunteers are critical to reducing the amount of time our animals live in the shelter.

HSSC provides our foster parents with all the food, supplies, support, and medical attention they need to care for their foster pet. However, if the foster parent is able to provide for the pet, that greatly reduces the program’s cost.

Please note: We require foster parents to be at least 18 years old. If you are not 18 years old, you will need a guardian to complete the Foster Care Application and program requirements. If you are a high school student seeking to earn service hours for fostering, you will be eligible to receive two hours for each day you foster.

Adoption Ambassadors

The Adoption Ambassador program is an ASPCA initiative that empowers volunteers to foster a pet, promote the animal in their community, identify potential adopters, and finalize the adoption process. ASPCA research has shown that programs like Adoption Ambassadors help reach a new pool of adopters and result in lower return rates than traditional shelter adoptions. Not only are lives saved, but space, time, and resources are freed up at shelters.

Unlike traditional fosters, who often care for the most vulnerable animals – motherless puppies and kittens, animals recovering from illnesses, pets with behavioral conditions – Adoption Ambassadors act as in-home foster parents and publicists for the otherwise-adoptable animals that simply need extra exposure in order to get adopted. Adoption Ambassadors are matched with a cat or dog, given brightly colored “Adopt Me” vests or collars, and instructed to take the pet out into the community as much as possible. Because the Adoption Ambassadors have first-hand experience with their foster pets, they are in a position to make a good match. HSSC trains Ambassadors to process the adoption on the spot. The adopter need never come to the shelter.

Funding for the Adoption Ambassadors program is provided by grant from the ASPCA.

Not enough time to foster? Here are some similar volunteer opportunities:  

For more information on any of the programs, please contact Tracy Stoddard, at or call 941.955-4131 x113