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

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.