Foster Volunteers

As an HSSC foster, you provide temporary in-home care for sick, underage, or injured cats and dogs. Sometimes it’s as simple as socializing or needing a break from the shelter, fosters are vital to our lifesaving mission.

Foster FAQ

What is my responsibility?

As a foster, you provide a safe and loving environment for feeding, care, and socialization. A separate room or space is needed to keep foster animals separate from your personal pets, and transportation to and from HSSC is needed for vaccines and medical check-ups. We ask that fosters follow our guidelines on feeding, training, and medicating your foster pet, as provided by HSSC staff.

At this time we are only able to accept fosters living within a 25-mile radius of HSSC.

What type of animals need foster care?

Foster families are needed for animals not ready for adoption yet, whether they are sick, underage, injured, or under-socialized. We especially need foster for bottle babies and nursing moms, a very delicate age needing round-the-clock care.

What if I have never fostered before?

Not a problem! We can walk you through the process and if you are willing to learn we are always willing to teach. HSSC staff is happy to answer any questions or help train on specific tasks like bottle feeding, cat and dog behavior, or proper socializing.

What supplies do I need?

HSSC provides veterinary care, medications, food, litter, toys, bedding, and a crate. All items will need to be returned at the time of drop off, but if you purchased supplies for your foster pet you are welcome to keep them for the next foster. We appreciate the generosity of our fosters always willing to help!

Can I bring them places?

Foster dogs can be taken in public on a case-by-case basis, considering their age and behavior. While socializing is very important, we do not want to put dogs in potentially uncomfortable situations. Foster dogs should never be brought to dog parks, as there is the strong possibility of unvaccinated dogs, disease, intestinal parasites, or dog fights. Walking trails and public parks are great places for dogs to be seen by the public and meet new people, but we ask that you do not introduce them to other dogs unless you have been trained to do so. Foster cats and kittens should always be indoors in your home, traveling can be very stressful for them.

What if I fall in love? Can I foster fail?

Absolutely! Foster parents get the first opportunity to adopt is that the animal is not available for adoption or listed on our website. We ask that if you are interested in adopting you tell us as soon as possible so that we can let adoptions staff know.

What is the time commitment?
  • Mom with Babies 2-8 weeks (4 hours daily)
  • Neonates/Bottle Babies 4-6 weeks (8 hours daily)
  • Weaned kittens and puppies 1-4 weeks (4-6 hours daily)
  • Fearful/Under socialized 2-6 weeks (2-6 hours daily)
  • Sick or Injured 1-6 weeks (3-4 hours daily)

Any questions please contact our Foster & Placement Coordinator at 941.955.4131 x116 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

You must be 18 years or older to apply. If you are in need of community service hours they will still be honored under your parent's/guardian's application.

Current foster in need of additional supplies? Submit a request for additional supplies below:


HSSC's Foster Program is a proud recipient of grant funding from Maddie's Fund®, helping to achieve a no-kill nation #ThanksToMaddie. Maddie's Fund is a national family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals.

THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF SARASOTA COUNTY
2331 15th Street | Sarasota, FL 34237 | 941.955.4131 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Shelter Hours of Operation
Monday: Closed
Tuesday–Friday: 10am–6pm
Saturday: 10am–4pm
Sunday: Closed
THE ANIMAL CLINIC OF HSSC
1090 North Tuttle Ave | Sarasota, FL 34237 | 941.364.3605 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Animal Clinic Hours of Operation
Monday: Closed
Tuesday–Friday: 8am–12:30pm 
(Closed for Lunch 12:30-1:30pm)
Tuesday–Friday: 1:30pm-5pm
Saturday: 8am–12pm
Sunday: Closed

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THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF SARASOTA COUNTY, INC., IS A PRIVATE, NON-PROFIT 501(C)(3) CORPORATION REGISTERED WITH THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE & CONSUMER SERVICES, REGISTRATION NUMBER CH239, AND RECEIVES 100% OF ALL DONATED FUNDS. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE 1-800-435-7352 WITHIN THE STATE OR ONLINE AT WWW.FRESHFROMFLORIDA.COM. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.