Foster a Pet

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is often seeking responsible and patient individuals who are willing to open up their home to animals in need.

Taking an animal out of one of our Animal Care and Adoption Centers opens up precious space for other animals in need. You can help us expand our services and find more animals loving homes by becoming an ARL foster.

We are often most in need of fosters that are willing to provide a warm and loving environment for animals with medical or behavioral concerns, since these are usually the animals that require fostering before adoption. The length of commitment varies by individual animal and can range from a week to several months.

Why Foster a Pet?

  • Fostering saves lives. Fostering a pet frees up valuable space in ARL’s Animal Care & Adoption Center for more pets in need. It can also help give animals a place to thrive outside of the busy shelter environment.
  • Fostering is inexpensive. ARL covers the animal’s vaccinations, veterinary exams, spay or neuter procedure, medications, and other care as needed. We can also provide food, supplies, and training at no cost.
  • Fostering is educational. ARL provides trainings and one-on-one counseling as necessary to help prepare fosters to best care for the animal’s physical and behavioral needs.
  • Fostering is low commitment. Not sure if you are ready to adopt, or maybe you are not in a place to adopt just yet? Fostering can help you understand how a pet fits into your lifestyle, without the lifelong commitment.
  • Fostering is fun. Fostering will open up your social circles to endless possibilities. Aside from the unconditional companionship you will receive from your foster pet, fostering is a great way to get more involved in your community and make new connections.
Submit a foster application

Foster Features

The below animals are currently available for foster and adoption

a medium-sized multicolored dog sitting on a red blanket with blurred-out lights behind her.


We think that Zoey may have been an Olympic athlete is another life! This 2-year-old active beauty can often be found romping around in our play yard, getting all of her laps in, and showing off her good moves. She can walk, run, and play all day long – but of course, she is more than ready for some snuggles and naps afterward. Zoey is quite a superstar. She is a friendly lady who enjoys hanging out with her human pals but is just as content with her independence. She already knows many of her basic commands (including housetraining), and is not only fast to learn but eager too! Zoey can be quite the class clown and never fails to make everyone laugh with her deer hops and little tippy taps when she gets excited.

Zoey would do best in a home with older dog-savvy kids since she is a bit of a stronger dog.

Apply to foster Zoey

To apply to foster an animal listed above, please fill out our foster application. Please note, filling out a foster application does not mean that the animal you are interested in fostering will be a good match for your home or lifestyle. Our staff reviews applications and place animals with fosters who can best accommodate an animal’s needs. Please email ARL Foster Coordinator Tia Trabucco at ttrabucco@arlboston.org with any questions.

Current Foster Care Opportunities

ARL’s foster care opportunities vary depending on the current need, so do not hesitate to submit an application.

Steps to Becoming a Foster Parent


Fill out an application


See if you’re a match

We review all foster care applications to match people with the appropriate animal cases since there are animals with various foster care needs. If you’re a match, you will be contacted by an ARL staff member within 2 weeks*.


Get trained

Once your application is accepted, you can attend foster orientations that will prepare you for fostering your first pet.

*Please note: ARL’s foster care availability varies depending on the current need and the submission of an application does not guarantee a match.

Volunteer walking a black and white dog down a red A-frame graphic


For questions regarding ARL’s volunteer or foster care programs, contact Tia Trabucco, ARL’s Foster Care Placement Coordinator, at ttrabucco@arlboston.org or (617) 426-9170 x207.


ARL 125 anniversary wordmark showing now and then photos