Best Friends–New York Foster Program

We have been blown away by the support we have received from our supporters looking to get involved over the past couple of weeks, hundreds of new foster volunteers are now part of our system enabling us to place all of our animals in foster while our Lifesaving Center is closed. While we are still accepting new foster volunteers, and running online foster program orientations, please know you will not be matched with a foster pet immediately as we have a large number of volunteers in our system waiting for animals.

Please also consider reaching out to one of our many network partners to inquire as to their needs during this time. 

How to get started:

  1. Complete online volunteer profile at volunteers.bestfriends.org
  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 (find this on the top bar under CALENDAR/SHIFTS).

For more information, please read the FAQs below or contact us directly with any questions at 929-292-8300 or FosterNYC.info@bestfriends.org

You can choose what type of animal you foster, from large and small dogs to kittens, nursing and pregnant 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, along with basic supplies. 

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 complete an online volunteer profile at volunteers.bestfriends.org. 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" calender. Once you take in a foster pet, you are responsible for providing the animal with day-to-day care, safety, shelter, basic supplies, 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:    Dogs and cats of all ages and sizes are available to foster.

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. We recommend keeping your foster separate for a minimum two-week period, in case they break with any illnesses. If your foster pet gets your resident pet sick, Best Friends is not responsible for vet costs associated with your personal pet. 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. Any vet visits must be pre-approved by a Best Friends staff member and through one of our veterinary partners.

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. Keep in mind that you must be able to transport your foster animal to and from our Lifesaving Center, which is located in Manhattan (SoHo).