Applications are at the bottom of this page, fill one out today to get started! Questions? Email

Why Foster?

The primary reason for foster care is to provide temporary homes for dogs and cats due to overcrowding in the shelter, or to assist animals whose current conditions are not manageable in a shelter setting. Foster care is needed for animals who are healthy, sick, injured, or too young for adoption. The Animal Care and Control Team (ACCT) receives more animals than can be accommodated in the shelter, so moving them into foster homes not only saves their lives, but also the lives of those who take their places. Fostering a shelter animal is a wonderful, rewarding experience, but can also be time consuming and hard work.

What It Takes…

Although previous fostering experience is not required, the ideal foster care provider will have basic knowledge of animal care and training, as well as a desire to find their foster animal a safe, loving forever home. As a foster parent, you will provide your animals with care including food, water, shelter, litter, training, grooming and trips to ACCT to get medical treatment when necessary. Depending on what you are fostering, foster parents may also be responsible for finding adopters for your foster animal(s) – but we can help!

What You Get…

ACCT provides basic vet care, behavior and training resources, and adoption counseling and support as needed. New foster parents receive a Foster Care Manual with tons of information. Also, donations of food, treats, toys and litter are often available for free to foster parents. ACCT also invites all foster parents to showcase their animals at our weekly adoption events, and hosts foster animals’ biographies on Petfinder.

How Long…

The length of foster care commitment varies widely based on each animal. Some foster animals may only need a couple weeks of foster care while other foster animals may need many months of foster care. The length of time can depend on the animal’s age, medical status, or adoptability. For long term foster, foster animals stay in their foster homes until they are adopted out, so marketing your foster animal is an important factor in the length of commitment.

Where to Start…

Please visit the ACCT Life Saving Department any day – the sooner the better! – between 1pm and 7pm on weekdays 10am and 4pm on weekends and holidays to fill out an application and meet the many wonderful dogs, cats and kittens in need of foster care. All resident dogs and cats must be up to date on vaccines in order to foster, as well. If you are interested in fostering a dog long term and have dogs or children under 16 at home, you must bring them to make sure we have the best possible match for your situation.

Foster applications can typically be approved while you wait, so be prepared to leave with an animal same day! For fostering cats and kittens, please bring a carrier if you have one (a cardboard one can be provided). For fostering dogs, please bring a leash if you have one (a temporary leash can be loaned). While cat fosters usually can be processed the same day, dog fosters may need to schedule an appointment for a future date. Some types of dog fostering (short term, medical) are on an as-needed basis where ACCT Philly staff will post when a dog foster is needed.

How to Foster Dogs through ACCT Philly

It’s super easy! We’ve moved to an open hours format, which means you can have your application processed in person and leave with a foster dog that day. Please take a look at the Canine Foster Program Overview before heading in. Our Adoptions Office processes foster applications on a first come, first serve basis 1pm-7pm (1-4pm for day trips) on weekdays & 10am-4pm (10am-1pm for day trips) on weekends and holidays.

You can also fill out our Canine Foster Application online to get started now.

How to Foster a Cat through ACCT Philly

The Feline Foster Care Program is one of the many life saving arms of the Animal Care and Control Team of Philadelphia. The primary reason for foster care is to provide a temporary home for a potentially adoptable animal whose current condition is not manageable in a shelter setting, or to relieve overcrowding in the shelter. Although previous fostering experience is not required, ideal foster care provider will have basic knowledge of animal care and training and be committed to finding their foster animal a safe and loving “forever home”!

You can now apply on the web! Simply visit one of the following links and complete the application process online.
Online Foster Application – Cats

You can still print out a hard copy to fill out prior to visiting the shelter. See below for PDF versions of our foster care application.
Print Foster Application – Cats


Come down: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on weekends and holidays to the ACCT Life Saving Department at 111 W Hunting Park Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19140
Call: Anytime! 267-385-3800 ext. 500

***In keeping with our lifesaving mission, ACCT Philly does require any cats or dogs a foster care provider owns to be spayed or neutered, assuming the animals are healthy and old enough to be safely altered. The animals should also be up to date on all age-appropriate vaccinations.***