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  • Foster a Pet through Pima Animal Care

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    You can be a hero by fostering

    As an open admission shelter, we never turn away a pet in need. This means that every day we see pets come in who are too young, injured, or sick to be placed in adoptive homes. These pets are more susceptible to catching an illness or failing to thrive in the shelter. Our foster parents provide the critical bridge between shelter and adoption for these pets while they grow and heal from their injury or illness by offering TLC and a safe place to stay.

    There are literally thousands of pets who come through our doors every year who would benefit from foster care; our goal is to have trained fosters ready and waiting as soon as these pets come in. By joining our foster team, you help us expand what pets we are able to care for and allow us to save hundreds (if not thousands) of our community’s pets.

    We provide all vaccinations, deworming, and medical care that the pets need. Our fosters provide the housing, TLC, and enrichment that the pets need to thrive. Unless we have donations available, we ask our fosters to provide basic supplies (food, litter, toys, etc.) for their foster pets. You can help us provide supplies to our fosters by donating something from our Amazon Wish List.

    Have questions?

    Contact our Foster Coordinator, Rosio Reyes.
    Foster assignments can last from a few days to a few months depending on the circumstances, and we will work with you to determine which pets will fit best with your household and schedule. At minimum, pets must come back to the shelter every two weeks for vaccinations and check-ups. Some pets may need to come back to the shelter more frequently if recovering from an injury or illness.

    We are most in need of fosters for:

    • Medium and Large dogs. Our medium to large dogs (35 lbs and up) often have the longest length of stay at our shelter. Give these dogs a break from kennel life and help them find their forever home! To view dogs available for foster, click here.
    • Puppies and kittens with their moms. We see hundreds of newborn litters come in every year! They can’t go to their adoptive homes until they are 8 weeks of age.
    • Orphaned puppies and kittens without their moms. Especially in spring/summer months, it’s not uncommon for us to take several litters every day!
    • Dogs and cats hit by cars and recovering from broken bones. Our vets work tirelessly to stabilize several pets a week who’ve been hit by a car and lived to tell the story; once stabilized the next step for them is foster care to recover from their injuries.

    Interested in becoming a foster parent?

    The first step is to sign up.  You will then be contacted to attend an Orientation to be trained in our foster processes. Once you’re trained, you’ll be added to the rotation of people to call when we have pets in need! 
    Volunteer foster parents take in pets who are too small or young for adoption, who are recovering from illness or surgery, or who need help with socialization and training. Once the pets are big or healthy enough for adoption, the foster parent returns them to us.

    Foster FAQs

    What is a foster home?

    A foster home is a temporary living situation for pets in our program while they are awaiting placement in a permanent home or recovering from an illness or injury. The number of animals we can save depends entirely on the number of volunteers who open their homes and hearts to foster them. The first step is to sign up. 

    Why should I foster?

    Because many of our dogs and cats cannot go directly into one of our adoption programs, and the only way we can save these animals is with the help of foster homes! Our young kittens and puppies need to stay in foster until they are old enough to be spayed or neutered. Older pets who are ill or injured may need to stay in foster care until they are well enough for adoption.

    Not to mention, fostering is rewarding and fun! For some, it is a chance to have an animal companion without a lifetime commitment. For others, it is the special challenge of helping an animal recover from illness, injury or behavior problems. Fostering can also involve the joy of giving extra TLC to kittens and puppies who too young to be adopted. The first step is to sign up.  

    How long can I expect to foster a pet?

    Foster parents typically keep animals an average of 4-6 weeks, but some pets need more time because of age, illness, injury, or behavior issues. We will communicate with you up front about how long your foster commitment could last. The first step is to sign up.  
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    Animal Care Center

    4000 N. Silverbell Rd.
    Tucson, AZ 85745

    (520) 724-5900

    Weekdays: Noon - 7 p.m.
    Weekends: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

    Ajo Substation:
    1259 Well Road
    Ajo, AZ 85321

    (520) 387-7502

    Ajo Substation Hours:
    11 a.m.-1 p.m. MWF
    4:30-6:30 p.m. W

    Adopt a Pet at the Pima Animal Care Center
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    Foster a Pet at the Pima Animal Care Center
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