Foster to save the lives of cats and dogs in New York City

When you foster, you become part of a lifesaving team working to create a bright future for homeless pets in New York City and around the country.

A shelter can be a noisy and stressful environment, especially for shy or frightened animals. By fostering a pet — providing love and care while an animal waits to be adopted — you’re helping to prepare that animal for life in a home and alleviating the burden on shelters in New York City.

Fostering is an easy, short-term, hands-on way to make a lifetime of difference. Whether you open your home (and heart) to a dog, cat, puppy or kitten, Best Friends will provide everything you need, including food, supplies, support and medical care, to ensure that your foster pet’s stay is a happy and healthy one.

Question mark icon with paw print

What to expect

Fostering is an incredibly fun, fulfilling and personal way to help save homeless pets in the tri-state area.

Your fostering stint could be as short as a night or a weekend or it could last several weeks or months. Either way, Best Friends in New York City provides everything you’ll need to care for your foster pet.

Once you’ve filled out your application, you will receive an automated email with details about fostering opportunities and sign-up instructions. You’ll be asked to complete an online orientation, which includes creating a volunteer profile, watching a video and digitally signing accompanying forms.

If you’re under the age of 18, you’ll need permission to foster from someone in your household who is over 18 years old. That person should be the one to complete the volunteer profile and orientation. Please contact us directly with any questions at

If you have pets of your own at home, please let us know so that we can ensure the right foster pet fit for your family.

Questions about fostering a pet in New York City? 

For questions about fostering or our foster program, email

Pets needing fostering

What kinds of animals typically need fostering? Dogs and cats of all ages, personality types and care levels.

Some of the animals most in need of fostering are those requiring a little extra TLC or training, as well as shy pets who are still learning to trust and feel more comfortable in a new environment.

We want both pets and people to have a positive fostering experience. That’s why we consider your schedule and lifestyle and strive to match you with a pet who will thrive in your home.

Smiling dog going for a walk on a leash in New York City

Already a Best Friends Foster?

Sign into your volunteer account to access the on deck survey and other foster resource links.

Lifesaving tales of love and resilience

Meet a few of the amazing animals who’ve found healing and happiness.

Share your home with adorable bundles of love and fuzz