FOSTER A CAT or DOG and SAVE A LIFE. In order to carry out our mission and save animals, we need foster parents to provide a safe, loving home for a cat or dog until a permanent, adoptive home is found. The number of foster homes is directly proportionate to the number of animals we can save. It’s that simple.

If you agree to provide a foster home, we provide guidance, supplies and health management. You provide the most important part: the tender loving care.

Your Role As A Foster Family
Foster Family Responsibilities
The Possibility Of Adoption


Hopalong & Second Chance exist because of the commitment and dedication our volunteers make to saving a dog or cat's life and finding them a loving home. Without these committed individuals, we wouldn’t be here for the thousands of at-risk animals in our communities.

If you are ready to make a real difference in an animal’s life, click here.


We carefully match up foster dogs/puppies and cats/kittens with foster parents based on what works for your household. Some people choose to foster a puppy or two, or even a litter; others prefer a small adult dog or a large dog and some prefer adult cats. We work with you to find the best possible match.

Bear in mind that a shelter environment followed by a rescue can be very stressful and traumatic for many animals. In your home they will have a chance to feel safe and secure, to be loved, nurtured, exercised and socialized. We will ask that you crate-train dogs and teach them basic obedience. As a foster parent, we encourage you to attend classes with our experienced dog trainer at no cost. A well-trained dog is much more likely to make a successful transition to a permanent home than a dog with no training and who is not housebroken. The gift of training helps to give the ultimate gift – a permanent home - to your furry friend.

We work hard to find the right home for your foster pet from the moment it is rescued. Foster animals may stay at their temporary homes from a few days to weeks and sometimes even months. It all depends on the animal and the amount of time the foster parent can commit to the process. Foster families may be asked to show their foster animal to potential adopters or make the animal available to be shown at a mobile adoption. Animals must be spayed and neutered prior to final adoption. Young kittens can be altered when they reach 2 pounds, usually at 8-12 weeks. Nice photographs and good web site descriptions from the foster family helps to expedite the adoption process.

Foster family responsibilities include:

  • Providing care and affection for your foster animal, including socialization, healthy practices, and some basic training (dogs). We ask that foster dogs are kept on a leash—even in dog parks—as you learn about their strengths and social skills. If an animal has behavioral problems, our dog trainer or our Animal Services Coordinators will work with you to correct them before adoption.
  • Spending a little extra time each day playing with your foster pet so that he/she is well socialized when it’s time to move to its forever-home.
  • Transport the dog/puppy to vet appointments as scheduled and provide updates on their progress. Let us know if there are any problems so that we can work with the animal before he/she goes to a permanent home.
  • Make the animal available for mobile adoptions or in-store adoption sites and if needed, help with the adoption process.

Homeless animals come into shelters year round so we are always in need of foster homes. When we take an animal from a shelter, it makes room for the next animal in need. Our foster parents are a critical piece of the rescue process and we are deeply indebted to them for their willingness to welcome new members into their lives. It buys us time, as well as the animals, to find a new place for the animals to call home.

It happens. You fall in love with the wonderful dog or cat for whom you’ve been a lifeline after shelter-life. Not to worry. You’re in good company. As the foster family, you will usually have first option to permanently adopt your new family member to be part of your lives, for life.
[ Foster Application ]

Volunteers, the animals need you! Please look over the list below and see if there is an area in which you could help. Then complete the volunteer sign up form. Our Volunteer Coordinator will call you to schedule an orientation.


  • Help with transport is crucial. Driving newly rescued dogs or cats to vet appointments, or to their new foster homes on day of rescue.
  • Help clean out dog crates, launder dog towels, bathe dogs following rescue.

Foster Care

  • Many of our volunteers are also foster families. If you'd like to foster a cat or dog (or puppies or kittens) please visit Foster Care (LINK).
  • Help our foster families by taking their foster dogs to vet appointments, picking up food and supplies, doing weekend or holiday short-term fostering or taking 'Bowser' out for a romp.

Adoption Days

  • Be an Adoption Counselor / Mobile Adoption Coordinator
  • Pick-up dogs and cats, transport to and from foster homes to adoption day events.
  • Help set up and work our adoption day events at Bay Area retail locations.
  • Be a dog/cat handler, or help with various other activities related to adoption and placement.
  • Place pre-adoption-day phone calls to notify applicants of upcoming adoption events and/or handle post-adoption follow-up calls.
  • Staff a table with merchandise and information that helps raise awareness about the organization and fundraises for the animals.

General Administration

  • Come into the office and help with, phones, filing, mailing out medical records and donor letters, copying, organizing and working on special projects.
  • Organize and make phone calls for mobile adoptions to get appropriate animals to the adoption and to ensure there are enough handlers for the event.

Computer/Web Site

  • Help maintain our 5 Web sites. Visibility gets the animals adopted.
  • Graphic design help for printed collateral pieces.
  • Assist with database entry for maintaining various mailing lists.
  • Quality photography of our rescued animals for the website postings. Write-up website descriptions and/or contact foster homes for website updates.

Fundraising and Special Events

  • Work with companies and businesses in the community to create fundraisers and events for Hopalong & Second Chance Animal Rescue.
  • Help with our grant writing program: research opportunities, write proposals.
  • Help develop materials for our planned giving and Pet Survivor programs as well as for newsletters, annual reports and brochures.
  • Help with our annual Canine Wine and Dine and/or Fur Ball.
  • Help with our educational programs in the various schools. Develop curriculum, set up appointments with interested schools and after school programs and assist with program implementation.