Become a Foster Home

PAWS is able to help hundreds of cats and dogs find new homes each year because of the generosity of its foster families. They provide temporary loving, caring, and safe environments for animals, as well as valuable feedback on animal behavior and health.

You do not need professional experience to become a PAWS foster parent. All it takes is a loving heart, basic knowledge about the type of animal you will foster, good observation skills, and a desire to help companion animals.

To apply to the PAWS Foster Program, you can print out and fill in the online application now and bring it to PAWS, or stop by PAWS to find out more about the program.

Once completed, we would like to meet you and go over the application. Please visit us at our Adoption and Education Center at 1401 Trout Road in State College.

Foster Questions, Foster Answers

How long will I have my foster pet?

As a non-euthanasia shelter, PAWS works for as long as it takes to find permanent homes for its animals. That can mean a week, a month, or even a year. However, PAWS will make other living arrangements for animals when foster parents feel they are becoming too attached or they need a break.

How do people who want to adopt meet PAWS animals?

Each weekend, foster families bring their animals to the PAWS Adoption Center, with cat drop-off on Friday evenings or Saturday mornings and pickup on Sunday afternoons. Dogs are brought to the Center for showings. The Dog Foster Home Coordinator will let you know the dates and times of the showings.

Can I select my foster animal?

You decide what type of animal your home and lifestyle can manage, with the option of specifying size, sex, breed, and other characteristics.

Can I foster more than one animal at a time?

PAWS limits the number of foster animals in the house to two adults or one litter of kittens or puppies and their mother.

Can foster families have other pets?

Yes, as long as all pets in a foster home are spayed or neutered with all the necessary vaccinations. For cats, that includes rabies, distemper, and Feline Leukemia. For dogs: distemper, rabies, parvo, and bordetella.

Is it hard to let them go?

Of course, but it's rewarding to know that you've made a difference in the life of an animal. At any given time there can be between 100 and 200 cats and 20 to 30 dogs waiting to become PAWS animals. With more foster families, PAWS can help even more animals.