Be a Hero - Foster today
Our foster program was developed to provide temporary and safe out-of-shelter opportunities for medically and/or behaviorally challenged dogs and cats. Each of our different foster opportunities (listed below) supports MCACC's lifesaving mission.
Whether it’s caring for pets recovering from medical procedures, helping underage or underweight pets until they are appropriate for adoption, or giving much-needed temporary relief to behaviorally-challenged pets, our foster volunteers provide compassionate care for pets in need.
Our most critical year-round need is for our larger dogs (over 30 pounds). Seasonal needs include bottle baby puppies and kittens as well as nursing mothers who need out-of-shelter space to comfortably raise their young until they are appropriate for adoption. Our foster opportunities for other pets are currently limited to medical recovery.
Easy, Fast Foster Application!
To become a foster volunteer, review our available opportunities below for one that will best fit your schedule and abilities! Our Foster Handbook has even more information about our program and foster volunteer requirements.
If you feel you are able to meet MCACC's Foster Program requirements and needs, complete our easy, online application so that we can learn about you, your home, and your availability. Once submitted, you'll receive an automated email and video link. After reviewing the video, and completing the quick foster knowledge quiz, we can contact you with next steps.
Day Fostering is a great opportunity to take a pet on a stress-releasing outing (like a doggy field trip!) Give one of our beautiful, large dogs a break from the shelter for a few hours and go for a hike, out to lunch, or just hang out at home.
For everyone’s safety, Day Foster dogs may not be introduced to personal pets and may not go to dog parks or other off-leash areas. Your dog may even catch the eye of someone you meet and can be adopted on the spot!
Overnight Fostering is what most of us consider traditional fostering. Pets stay with you, in your home, instead of at the shelter. This opportunity typically spans from 1 to 30 days, may include behaviorally or medically challenged pets, and is based on each pet's needs. MCACC personnel will call regularly to ensure each foster pairing is a good match for both person and pet.
MCACC often receives animals into its care with minor or major medical conditions that require some tender, loving care outside of the shelter environment. Animals with medical needs that can be addressed by our shelter veterinarians may include: healing fractures; post-surgical care; underweight or underaged dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens; treatment for upper respiratory infections, ringworm and other parasitic treatments; and general monitoring. Depending on the condition we are treating, foster placement could be as little as a couple weeks up to a several months.
Fosters caring for these cases may be required to attend follow-up appointments with our shelter clinic or more frequent check-ins with our Foster Coordinators. Some medical cases may also require completion of additional training.
The shelter environment can be very stressful and some of our pets are less prepared for coping with all the changes than others. Animals eligible for Behavior Foster often require a special behavior modification protocol to increase the animal’s socialization, manners, and basic skills. These foster commitments are often some of the longest we have but can also be the most rewarding.
Fosters serving in this role are often required to cooperate closely with our Behavior Team, in addition to the Foster Coordinators, and may require additional training.
Questions about joining the MCACC foster family? Call us at 602-372-1158 or email us: ACCFoster@maricopa.gov.
The following resources can help improve your foster experience at MCACC. Review and refer back to these guides as often as needed.