What is Fostering about?

We strive to match our foster dogs as best we can to our foster volunteers. If you would like to foster, please fill out our foster application and a foster coordinator will be in contact with you. AHeinz57 provides all vet care for our foster dogs at the Adel Vet Clinic.

Additional Information about Fostering

Thank you for considering to open your heart and home to a dog in need. Your generosity will provide young and old, injured and sick, abused and under socialized dogs, and death row dogs a second chance to live, grow or heal before finding their forever homes.

Reasons to foster: Fostering is a wonderful experience for you and your family. You can feel good knowing you have helped save a dog’s life. Even better, you’ve created space in the shelters to accommodate other homeless dogs. Foster dogs provide companionship and purpose. Your act of kindness is repaid in rewards that are beyond words.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long are dogs in foster homes?
    It completely depends on the dog and the situation. The average stay in a foster home is about two months. However, most puppies may stay only a few weeks. Others, recovering from an injury, certain breeds and senior dogs, may stay much longer.
  2. How are foster dogs promoted?
    Photos and stories of all adoptable dogs in foster homes are posted on, and our website where the public can view them. Foster dogs are also promoted at special events throughout the year, monthly adoption days at Petco and the  newspaper. Foster parents may participate in various programs and events to increase the visibility of their foster dog to potential adopters.
  3. Can I adopt my foster dog?
    Yes! As long as foster parents meet the requirements necessary for adoption, foster parents have first choice to adopt their foster dog. However, they must go through the same adoption process as everyone else and pay the adoption fee.
  4. What is the process for fostering dog?
    The process is very similar to adopting a dog. Potential fosters are required to sign and submit a Foster Application & Agreement for review before they can physically meet a foster dog. Suitable applicants will be contacted for a home visit. Once approved, the foster dog and foster parents will be paired according to the foster parents’ preferences. Foster dogs cannot go to a potential adopter’s home until the adoption is official and approved by rescue staff. The foster dog then goes to its new forever home. Foster parents are encouraged to be as involved in the adoption process as possible.
  5. What is the process for adopting my foster dog?
    Foster parents must go through the same process as the regular adoptions. The foster parent must fill out the online adoption application. Adoption is approved or rejected by rescue staff. Final approval of all adoptions is at the sole discretion of the AHeinz57 Pet Rescue & Transport staff. Once approved, the foster parent pays the regular adoption fee to the rescue. In either case, foster parents should stay in contact with AHeinz57 Pet Rescue & Transport staff for assistance with the adoption process.
  6. I live in a condo, townhome or apartment. Can I foster dogs?
    Yes, you can still foster a dog living in a small environment. Many dogs need one‐on‐one socialization, so a small space can be beneficial. However it’s important that you select an appropriate dog for your lifestyle and are willing to commit to providing your foster dog with the needed physical and mental stimulation. And of course, you still need landlord approval and must abide by any weight or breed restrictions.
  7. What if I have children?
    Fostering is a wonderful family experience and can build a foundation of philanthropy in your children. It’s important to select a dog that is “age” appropriate with your children, and as a general rule, children under 16 years old should not be left alone and unsupervised with any dog. You must also be diligent about providing guidance, instructions and rules to your children about caring for an orphaned dog.
  8. I don’t have a yard, or it’s not fenced. Can I foster dogs?
    Yes! A yard is a nice to have for those early morning, or late night potty breaks and for a game of ball, but is not a requirement. Moreover, foster dogs are not allowed to be left unattended in a yard. The reality is that dogs don’t exercise themselves when left outside. Dogs need focused physical activity, mental stimulation and socialization and the best way to do this is by walking or running your foster dog on leash.
  9. If I have my own animals, can I foster dogs?
    Yes, but your own animals must be spayed or neutered and up to date on vaccinations.
  10. What supplies are needed to foster?
    Foster parents provide space, basic training, exercise and love for the dog. The rescue will provide you with all the other supplies and equipment needed throughout your foster experience.
  11. What if my foster dog becomes sick?
    All veterinary costs are paid by the rescue through the adoption fees and generous donations. If a foster dog becomes sick, foster parents must call Amy Heinz at (515) 333-9040, who will authorize a vet visit at Adel Vet Clinic, or advise you otherwise.
  12. Can I return my foster dog to the rescue if I am unable to foster any longer?
    We prefer that foster parents continue to foster until we find a permanent home for their foster dog. It’s extremely stressful for a dog to be moved from home to home. However, we understand that situations change and it may become necessary to discontinue fostering a dog. We request that a foster parent provides as much notice as possible (minimum one to two weeks) so that we can find an alternative foster home to transfer the dog to. Of course, in an emergency, a foster parent may always bring their dog back to the rescue.
  13. What if I go on vacation or have a business trip?
    If given enough notice, we can usually find volunteers that can foster sit for short durations. We ask that foster parents always keep the rescue aware of any temporary foster sitting situations.