Best Friends–New York Foster Program

If you love animals but can’t adopt, foster! Foster families provide short- or long-term, in-home care for pets until they find forever homes. Not only is it easy, fun and one of the most rewarding things you can do for a homeless pet and for yourself, fostering gives an animal the love and attention he or she desperately needs, greatly increasing his or her chances of being adopted.

Right now, Best Friends–New York is in need of dedicated volunteers in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to open their homes to a foster pet. You can choose what type of animal you foster, from large and small dogs to kittens, nursing mothers, and adult cats. Best Friends provides all veterinary care and covers vet care costs. The only thing foster families need to provide is a loving and nurturing environment for their foster pets.

How to get started:

  1. Complete online volunteer profile at
  2. Once you've created a profile, you'll be able to sign up for an upcoming foster orientation found on the "New York Foster Program" calendar.

For more information, please read the FAQs below or contact us directly with any questions at 929-292-8300 or

Best Friends–New York Foster Program FAQs

Q: How does the foster program work?

A:   If you’re interested in fostering a pet, you will consult with a Best Friends staff member and sign an agreement that details all you need to know about fostering. Once you take in a foster pet, you are responsible for providing the animal with day-to-day care, safety, shelter, and food. Keeping foster pets outdoors is not allowed. Best Friends provides all veterinary care and covers vet care costs.

Q: What type of animals can I foster?

A:   All ages and sizes of dogs and cats are available.

Q: I already have a dog/cat. Can I still foster?

A: Yes. Some foster families delegate a spare room for their foster pet, which reduces stress on the pet. But you can also slowly introduce your personal pets to your foster pets over time. The foster coordinator can give you helpful steps for doing so. Before you bring your foster pet home, please speak with your veterinarian to make sure your personal pets are up-to-date on their vaccinations.

Q: Can I adopt my foster pet?

A: Yes, but you must go through the same screening process as other adoption applicants.

Q: Will the pet I foster have any special needs, such as medical or behavioral issues?

A:   Some foster pets may have special needs that require extra care or medication. But don’t worry: we will only match you with a foster pet who fits your requirements and schedule.

Q: What do I do if my foster pet needs veterinary care?

A:   We have a number of highly respected local veterinarians who work closely and regularly with us in this program to care for the animals and monitor their well-being.

Q: Is this program only Manhattan-centric or does it encompass all the boroughs?

A:   The program encompasses all five boroughs, as well as the tri-state metropolitan area.