What is Fostering about?

We strive to match our foster dogs and cats 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 and cats.

Additional Information about Fostering

Thank you for considering to open your heart and home to a dog or cat in need. Your generosity will provide young and old, injured and sick, abused and under socialized, 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 or cat’s life. Even better, you’ve created space in the shelters to accommodate other homeless dogs and cats. Foster dogs and cats provide companionship and purpose. Your act of kindness is repaid in rewards that are beyond words.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long are dogs or cats in foster homes?
    It completely depends on the dog or cat and the situation. The average stay in a foster home is about two months. However, most puppies or kittens may stay only a few weeks. Others, recovering from an injury, certain breeds and seniors, may stay much longer.
  2. How are foster dogs and cats promoted?
    Photos and stories of all adoptable dogs and cats in foster homes are posted on, and our website where the public can view them. Foster dogs and cats are also promoted at special events throughout the year, monthly adoption days at Petco, Petsakes and Brown Dog Bakery.  Foster parents may participate in various programs and events to increase the visibility of their foster dog and cat to potential adopters.
  3. Can I adopt my foster dog or cat?
    Yes!  You must be a foster for six month prior to adopting.  After that as long as the foster parents meet the requirements necessary for adoption, foster parents have first choice to adopt their foster dog or cat. However, they must go through the same adoption process as everyone else and pay the adoption fee.
  4. What is the process for fostering dogs or cats?
    The process is very similar to adopting. Potential fosters are required to sign and submit a Foster Application & Agreement for review before they can physically meet a foster. Suitable applicants will be contacted for a home visit. Once approved, the foster and foster parents will be paired according to the foster parents’ preferences. Foster dogs or cats cannot go to a potential adopter’s home until the adoption is official and approved by rescue staff. The foster dog or cat 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 or cat?
    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 or cat 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 or cat.
  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 or cats?
    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 or cat. The rescue will provide you with all the other supplies and equipment needed throughout your foster experience.
  11. What if my foster dog or cat becomes sick?
    All veterinary costs are paid by the rescue through the adoption fees and generous donations. If a foster dog or cat becomes sick, foster parents must call Amy Heinz at (515) 333-9040, who will authorize a vet visit, or advise you otherwise.
  12. Can I return my foster dog or cat 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. It’s extremely stressful for a dog or cat to be moved from home to home. However, we understand that situations change and it may become necessary to discontinue fostering. 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 or cat to. Of course, in an emergency, a foster parent may always bring their dog or cat 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 duration’s. We ask that foster parents always keep the rescue aware of any temporary foster sitting situations.