Rescue On!

Fostering a dog or cat is an incredibly rewarding experience. Fosters provide care, food, play, exercise, and socialization for an animal. They work hand-in-hand with Pet Haven volunteers to respond to the adopter. And yes, it can be difficult to say goodbye, but the success makes it worthwhile. Our fosters share their stories and photos with other volunteers and celebrate each animal’s new home together.


Cat Foster Application

Dog Foster Application


Updates in our process

As a result of COVID-19, our processes have changed. We now “virtually onboard” new fosters. This has made our process easier and we hope to be able to onboard more efficiently and open up to more fosters as a result.

Fostering is a wonderful, rewarding experience! Please make sure you can accommodate an animal with or without any possible restrictions that could arise due to covid. Even though the pandemic restrictions are lifted, the future is filled with unknowns.

image with two cats with the text foster care heroes wanted on top

What does it mean to be a foster?

Pet Haven foster homes provide temporary homes for cats and dogs in need of care. Fosters offer safety and love and serve as strong advocates for the animals in their care. As a foster, you will get to know the specific needs of the animal and help make a great match!

Pet Haven provides:

  • High-quality food
  • Crates and all necessary supplies (blankets, toys, litter, and treats)
  • Comprehensive veterinary care
  • Resources to ensure that you are confident and comfortable in your role as a foster provider
  • A dedicated, supportive group of  volunteers who help you every step of the way

I’m not the most experienced pet owner, can I still be a foster?

Yes! Pet Haven operates as a team and there are many experienced volunteers ready to provide advice and assistance. Our Foster Coordinators offer personalized training to guide you through the process, ensuring you have the support needed when you welcome a new animal into your home.  You’ve always got an army of volunteers to help you along the way. Please note that Pet Haven requires that fosters be 18 years old.

What is a foster mentor?

Foster Mentors are your go-to resource and support for any questions about fostering (vet care, supplies, behavior issues, adoption process.) Each foster is assigned a foster mentor when they begin fostering and if you have a question about your foster animal, you should reach out to your foster mentor. If it is a question that they can not answer, they will delegate that question to someone who has the answer.

Where do your dogs and cats come from?

Our animals are rescued from Minnesota city municipals and rural shelter partners. We have volunteers who regularly visit these facilities and look for animals that need our help.

We also receive our animals from pet owners who need help(both local and from Reservations) surrendering their animals who can no longer provide them care, but trust Pet Haven to find them great homes.

If you are interested in more information about your specific foster, we will do our best to tell you where he/she comes from, and his/her background story, if possible.

What if I already have a dog or cat at home? How do I integrate them?

We work hard to make sure everyone is comfortable with a foster placement and the animal is a good match for your home environment. Pet Haven requires that your resident animals be up to date on their vaccinations and spayed/neutered. A new foster animal should have slow introductions over the course of several days to all members of your household (human and animal). You can speak with your Foster Mentor about how to best introduce your first foster into your home. Younger children should be introduced slowly to determine their compatibility with the new foster animal. It is recommended that an adult supervise all interactions between foster animals and young children. Children need to be taught the right way to treat an animal and what it means to respect an animal’s cues and need for space.

What if I’m going out of town?

Pet Haven has a tremendous network of respite fosters as well as boarding facilities that provide backup care during time away. Communication is key, so we ask that fosters plan ahead to let their Coordinators know when they’ll be out of town. Respite or boarding care is provided at no cost to fosters.

Can I choose my foster?

You can provide criteria (i.e. age, size, gender) for what type of dog or cat you want to foster, and we will do our best to match you with an ideal foster animal. If we have several animals needing rescue, we may send you pictures and descriptions of each. In this case, you can choose your foster animal. We also post on our Pet Haven Fosters Needed Facebook page a list of the animals needing placement.

What’s the commitment?

Pet Haven has many foster families who have been with us for years, and ideally, we would love for fosters to commit to 6 months.  Pet Haven understands that you may need a short break between fosters, and that is OK. If you aren’t sure you want to be a full-time foster, consider respite fostering for short-term needs.

It is very hard to give an average time an animal is in foster care. Many puppies and kitties are adopted within a month​ or two, while some animals have been in foster care for years. Most of the time, our animals are adopted relatively quickly, but we cannot make any guarantee as to how long they will be in your home. We ask that you commit to the animal you are fostering until a forever family is found.

Fosters are invited to attend adoption events with their animal and are expected to transport their foster animal to/from veterinary appointments. Fosters are expected to stay in communication with other team members and respond to applicants, may conduct home visits, and must ensure that the foster animal receives exercise and socialization.

What kind of behavior issues should I expect?

We do our best to eliminate the possibility of taking human or dog aggressive dogs. Still, some issues may arise. Possibilities include separation anxiety (i.e. crying or barking when left alone), marking (with urine), chewing, house training, litter box issues, barking, and dog aggression or fearful behavior. We have many ways of managing these problems until they are resolved and our experienced Foster Mentors and a Training Coordinator are on hand to answer questions and provide advice. We are always looking for fosters who have the skills to take in dogs and cats who may need more experienced care or behavioral support. If you have this experience please let our foster onboarding team know.

If I spend money on my foster animal, will I be reimbursed?

Pre-approval from the foster mentor is required for reimbursements. In most instances, we will have what you need for supplies or we can get it for you! If you choose to purchase your own supplies, you may deduct them on your taxes. For all medical needs/supplies/medications, you must contact the appropriate foster mentor or Vet Care Manager for approval. DO NOT take your foster animal to a vet without prior approval from our Vet Care Manager.

How do you say goodbye to a foster dog or cat?

It is definitely a bittersweet moment when your foster animal finds its forever home. Knowing that you will open your home to a new foster animal in need helps make those goodbyes a little easier. Rest assured, there is always another animal waiting in the wings!

I’m interested in “fostering to adopt”….do you offer this option?

Yes, we do. You will need to first fill out a foster application and our Foster Coordinator will tell you more!

Ready to get started?

Watch our intro-to-fostering video below and fill out an application!

Dog Foster Application


Cat Foster Application


Click the image above to view Pet Haven’s Introduction to Fostering Video!


Find Pet Haven’s Foster Manuals Here!


Dog Foster Manual


Puppy Care Manual- Coming Soon!


Cat Foster Manual


Kitten Care Manual


Foster Agreement


Questions? Contact our Foster Coordinators: or