Foster parents open their homes and hearts to animals who need them now more than ever. These compassionate people play a vital role in the life of that animal and are a critical component to the success of Tulare County Animal Services mission as a whole.  Foster parents provide a home environment for healing and growth that a shelter cannot duplicate.  Simply put: foster parents save lives.

Download the Foster Care Application

What are foster responsibilities?
Fosters provide care, exercise and socialization to the animals in their care. They are asked to transport the fosters to/from offsite adoption events.  They are responsible to monitor any medical and/or behavioral problems and quickly bring a sick animal to TCAS (or authorized alternative) in case of an emergency.  As a foster you may host animals with special medical or behavioral needs, mother animals with nursing litters, larger dogs, bunnies, or kittens under eight weeks of age who need special feeding and socialization. By fostering an animal you are providing rehabilitation in a nurturing home environment, directly preparing them for adoption into a forever home.  

How long are the animals in foster homes?
It varies and completely depends on the situation.

Can I adopt my foster animal?
YES!  Foster parents have first choice to adopt their foster.

Are there any expenses for a foster parent?
YES.  TCAS provides some of the necessary supplies you will need to care for your foster animals, including food, crates, litter, and veterinary services.

If I have my own animals, can I foster?
Absolutely! A lot of fosters are also pet owners. This will be a factor in determining which pets are placed into your home, but will not prevent you from fostering. Family dogs must have a meet-and-greet with the potential foster dog to see if it’s a suitable match. We ask that you initially have supervised interactions with the animals to allow your foster animal to settle in.

What if the animal I am fostering doesn’t work out for me?
We will work with you to find the best match possible for your home and lifestyle. Although we ask all of our fosters to take their responsibility seriously and make a commitment to their foster animal, if at any point the foster situation isn’t working out, we will take the animal back into our care and find another that will work for you.

How are foster animals promoted?
Photos and stories of all adoptable animals in foster homes are posted on our website, Facebook,, etc. Fosters are also promoted at special events throughout the year. Foster parents may participate in various shelter programs and events to increase the visibility of their foster animals to potential adopters.  

How can I help my foster become more adoptable?
If no one knows about your foster, or how wonderful it is, then it will be harder to find them a forever home. In addition to supplying great photos and a bio and updating these regularly, giving a foster additional exposure by telling friends and family about them will help create a “network effect” and will speed up the process of finding a forever home. Simple steps like taking a foster dog with an “Adopt Me” vest on walks in local parks, outdoor shopping areas and other high-traffic areas will help find potential adopters.

I don’t think I could be a foster parent, I’d become too attached.
This is one of the most common phrases we hear each week at our adoption sites. We share the sentiment whole-heartedly. Because we take these needy animals from dire situations, nurse them back to health if they are sick, rehabilitate and train, and discover and love each of their individual personalities, we know how hard it is to separate from them when they go to new, permanent homes. Foster parenting is an integral part of the process, and we can only tell you that it is one of the most rewarding things around, and the reason we all work tirelessly to make it happen

How do I get started?
Fill out and submit the foster application via email ( or Fax: (559) 749-9815 (new fax number July 2023)