Fostering Animals

The goal of the Dubuque Regional Humane Society’s (DRHS) foster care program is to rehabilitate animals in order to make them available for adoption. Cats, kittens, dogs, puppies and various small mammals are able to find forever homes with the help of our dedicated foster families.
Should you have an any questions about the program, please contact the DRHS at 563-582-6766 or by emailing

What is a foster parent?
A volunteer foster parent assists in the rehabilitation of an animal by providing in home care.
 An animal may need a foster home for a variety of reasons including age, illness, injuries, and socialization, or to help provide needed space at the shelter for incoming animals.  Foster parents provide a clean, safe, loving environment for the animals in their homes.

What are the requirements for foster parents?
Must be 18 years or older to be a foster parent. Prospective adult foster parents complete one application for volunteering and one for fostering. Anyone interesting in becoming a foster parent must attend a volunteer orientation. Following approval of your application and completion of your orientation, you will receive a call from a foster coordinator inviting you to pick up your first foster animal.

Dena with foster kittens

How long is the foster care commitment?
The length of foster care for each animal varies depending on its needs. Fostering may last from two weeks to several months. We have a need for foster parents throughout the year. Our greatest need is from the spring through the fall.

What are the expenses for a foster parent?
The DRHS furnishes all of the supplies needed to care for foster animals. This includes food, litter, bedding, toys and enrichment items, and medical care. Foster parents incur their own expenses traveling to the shelter for medical care and foster care appointments as necessary. Appointments vary depending on the reason an animal is being fostered.


Saskia with foster dog

Things to consider
Are you able to separate the foster animals from your own animals? Because most foster animals have limited immunity, it is best to keep them in a spare bedroom or backroom for the duration of their time in your home. When outside, puppies and dogs must be supervised in an enclosed yard or on a leash. Kittens and cats must be kept indoors at all times.
Fostering is one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have. With your help, we are able to save lives.

If you are interested in our foster program, please complete the DRHS Foster Application. Completed forms may be dropped off to Kinsey's Campus, 4242 Chavenelle Rd, or sent via email to:

The Joy of Fostering by Judy Kenniker, DRHS Volunteer