Foster A Dog

Interesting in Becoming a Foster Care Provider?

Our foster care providers are volunteers who help provide dogs much-needed breaks from the shelter. Foster homes come in all shapes and sizes, and there are as many reasons people choose to foster as there are dogs in need of foster homes. We need foster families to help our dogs who have health issues, need a break from the shelter, or could use some work on their social or behavior skills before being adopted. We can help find the right match for your family.

Things to note:

  1. Dog socialization testing: We test large breed dogs with other large breed dogs. We are unable to test dogs with cats and small dogs. We also – for very obvious ethical reasons – do not test dogs with young children.
  2. Foster counseling: We conduct all foster counseling via email at We are here to help you through the process and answer your questions!
  3. Expectations: Stockton Animal Shelter is a high-intake, underfunded and under-resourced facility. The shelter operates with a veterinarian on average 4 days a week despite tons of animals coming in. Your foster dog will be dog-tested, gets free spay/neuter, is microchipped, has been vaccinated for rabies (if of age) and has undergone needed shots. 

To learn more about fostering, please read on, and then contact us at and fill out our foster application. Thank you for choosing to be a hero!!!

Important Facts about Being a Foster
  • No experience necessary; we will provide support and training.
  • All supplies and medical care provided, so no expense falls on the foster provider.
  • Length of foster commitment can vary from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the needs of the dog.
  • You get to choose the dog you take home with the help of someone familiar with the dogs; dog placement is based on the needs of the foster care provider as matched with an individual dog.
  • Fostering one dog does not commit you to fostering more dogs in the future, but once you try it, we bet you’ll be hooked!
  • It’s OK if you work full time; many dogs just need a safe, quiet place to stay, and we will work with your situation to find a dog who meets your needs.
A Few Top Fostering Tips
  1. Give your new pet time and space to decompress. Don’t try to introduce them to everything, let them get comfy in a room if needed and let them come to you when ready.
  2. Establish routine. A set routine creates safety and establishes expectations as a dog is trying to understand its new environment.
  3. Create balance. Training doesn’t need to be harsh, serious and intense. So much fun, positivity and play can take place during training and it truly helps grow your bond if done well!
  4. Ensure safety and respect. Separate dogs - and other pets - when no one is home to monitor. Use baby gates and crates to respect space when children or adults can’t make the best decisions. Allow a dog to escape and be respected and honored for making good choices.
Common Concerns about Fostering and Our Responses
Updating Your Foster Dog's Info to Get Them Adopted

Our goal is to relay the most up-to-date and accurate information to potential adopters – which is where you come in. If you are already fostering a dog through SSPA, please fill out this form so we can update your foster dog’s web page. We greatly appreciate you opening your heart and home to a dog in need and would like to do all we can to help that dog find their forever family – but we can’t do it without you! Also, please don’t forget to send any photos or videos you have to Those are crucial to getting them adopted!

Are you able to be a long-term foster?

We have several dogs with pending court cases. Each of them are special and overdue to know what it’s like to be loved. It is unknown how long their cases will last, but we know it’s too long to live in a lonely shelter kennel. If you are interested in being a very special foster for one of these very special dogs, contact us today at

We have a packed shelter so getting any dog into foster is helpful. Contact us today, and our counselors can match you with a dog to foster that fits your family, life style and current pets.

Foster Stories

What Do Fosters Do?

Won’t you please help by sharing us with your friends, family and followers?

Like us on Facebook! Follow us on Instagram!
#sspa #findlove #alldogsmatter #sactown #foster #adoptdontshop #donate #sacramento #norcal