Animal Shelter - Foster

With over 300 foster families, the Fairfax County Animal Shelter relies on our foster program to provide extra care to shelter animals. Each year, foster families give hundreds of homeless pets a second chance they would not otherwise have.


Some types of animals who need temporary foster placement are:

  • Adult dogs and cats who need a break from the shelter (three weeks to three months).
  • Dogs and cats with special behavioral needs. Some of our animals lack socialization and training, and time spent in a foster home (one week to one month, or longer) working on obedience and basic skills can be lifesaving!
  • Neonatal kittens! They need bottle feeding every two to six hours, depending on their age. Spring through fall is ‘Kitten Season’ and the more foster homes we have ready for neonatal kittens, the better!
  • Animals who are recovering from a medical procedure or illness. If you don’t have any other pets, we need you most of all for these types of animals! Having a quiet place to rest and recover makes a huge difference.
  • Dogs for a quick Power Hour walk or hike, and dogs for weekend fostering. Learn more about our Power Hour program, including taking a shelter dog for a Power Hour hike.

Becoming a Foster

We are not accepting general applications for fostering at this time. If you have experience with fostering neonatal kittens, large adult dogs with behavioral needs (jumpy, mouthy, energetic, untrained, fearful), mom dogs with puppies, or adult cats with behavioral needs (hissy, growly, fearful), please send an email detailing your experience and availability to:

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

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