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How do I become an ASTRO Foundation Foster Parent? 

1. Submit the ASTRO Foundation Foster Application.

2. Select your foster fur-baby from the list of animals awaiting foster. 

3. Return to the ASTRO Foundation Adoption Center for vaccine boosters and preventatives as necessary. 

4. Await the foster pet's spay/neuter appointment. Bring to ASTRO the morning of and pick up later that evening for recovery. 

5. Once healed, leave the foster pet with the ASTRO Adoption Center to interact with potential adopters!

For more information on the ASTRO Foundation Foster Program, email us at

What exactly is fostering? 

Animal fostering is taking in and caring for a pet on a temporary basis. When fostering an animal, you open your home to a pet who is currently in the possession of a shelter or rescue and is waiting to be adopted. Fostering takes the rescue animal out of the institutional setting and into a more realistic family/home environment. Foster homes do wonders for a pet's stress levels which can improve their health and behavior - making them more appealing to potential adopters. 

Why do people choose to foster?

1. Foster homes help adopters see pets at their best. Some animals can handle a shelter environment better than others. Many get overly excited or too anxious to let their true personality shine when they’re in a kennel. In a foster home, pets can relax, so that potential adopters can get a good sense of how they’d be in a home.

2. Fostering pets is fun. Taking a walk in the park is fun, but it’s a whole lot more fun strolling with a foster dog at your side. Playing with your foster cat is a great way to unwind and provide the attention she craves. And is there anything cuter than watching young kittens chase their tails (and anything else that moves)?

3. You can teach pets new skills in your home. Dogs and cats are enthusiastic students. Most of them want to learn new skill that can make it easier for them to find a home. 

4. You could be a pet matchmaker. Every time you take your foster dog on a walk, or out to a dog-friendly establishment, it’s a chance to connect with potential adopters. 

5. Put your Instagram account to good use to help animals. Many pets find homes after a foster parent shares a post on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. 

6. You’ll give them a chance to stretch their (four) legs. Just like us, cats and dogs need exercise to stay healthy and feel good. While shelters do their best to give animals adequate space to be active, there’s often a whole lot more room to play in a home.

7. You’ll be providing invaluable insight. It’s difficult to know all the important things about a shelter animal, such as how they feel about other animals or kids. This kind of information is vital, says Rachel Fong, foster coordinator at the Best Friends Pet Adoption Center in Utah. “Foster volunteers help us at Best Friends to understand who that dog is as an individual so we can match the dog with the perfect forever home.”

8. Fostering to know if you’re ready to adopt. Adopting a pet is a big decision. If you’re not sure you’re ready to take that next step, fostering is a great way to test the waters. You’ll gain experience caring for a pet, so that when it’s time for you to adopt, you’ll do so with confidence.

9. Fostering is a temporary commitment with permanent rewards. If you’re unable to adopt a cat or dog right now but want to open your space (and heart) to a shelter animal, look no further than being a foster parent. Most shelters and rescue organizations offer a variety of foster opportunities that include taking care of a pet short-term or for the weekend.

10. You’ll be saving more than one life. Every time a shelter animal is able to leave the shelter for a foster home, space is created for another deserving homeless pet who needs a second chance — until eventually, we Save Them All.

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