Foster Parent Resources

Thank you for being a foster parent for Santa Rosa County Animal Services. We appreciate you giving your time, home, love and care to help our shelter animals. Your work is vital to help us save lives, so thank you! We couldn't do this without you!


  • Foster cats must always be kept indoors and transported by a cat carrier to and from Santa Rosa Animal Services.
  • If you are fostering a cat, doggie doors must be inaccessible to the outside while the cat is free roaming in your home. If you allow access to a screened porch, screening must be secure to prevent escape.
  • Foster dogs must be kept indoors, preferably in a secure kennel when you are not home.
  • No off-leash park visits for foster dogs.
  • Foster parents must respond within 24 hours to communications from shelter staff.
  • Foster homes for dogs should have a secure fence or must be walked outside on a leash at all times.
  • Foster parents must be willing to bring the animal to the shelter if there is a potential adopter.
  • Foster parents must return animal to the shelter if they are no longer able to provide care.  Turning over to a third party is strictly prohibited.
  • Observation of any problems should be immediately reported to the shelter staff.
  • All current animals must be vaccinated against rabies and that information must be provided when submitting foster care application.
  • Immediately inform Santa Rosa Animal Services of any changes to address or phone number.
  • If leaving town or unable to care for your foster animal(s) for any reason, please return to the animal shelter.  Please call as soon as you know of such a situation so that we can arrange for their continuing care.  It is acceptable for a spouse to care for the animal but do NOT relinquish their care to a friend, relative, pet sitter, etc.
  • If you take a foster animal to a vet without prior authorization, you WILL NOT be reimbursed for expenses.
  • Notify Santa Rosa Animal Shelter immediately if a foster animal gets lost.
  • Call the shelter if a foster animal gets sick and follow the shelter’s instructions for care, treatment, and/or transportation of the animal.
  • Arrangements for routine and emergency health care need to be made through Santa Rosa Animal Services.
  • Animal shelter staff may remove a foster animal from a foster home for any reason they deem necessary.
  • Encouragement is made for you to find a permanent home for your foster animal that you seem suitable, however all adoptions must be done through Santa Rosa Animal Shelter.
  • You are responsible for notifying the shelter of any possible issues.  The sooner they are addressed the better outcome that can be obtained.  For instance, for a neonatal kitten or puppy that is not eating or is experiencing diarrhea it can be detrimental to their health.
  • To report any problems or to ask any questions, call the shelter, 850-983-4680. For after-hours emergencies, call 850-281-5737. Resources are limited when the shelter is closed.

Foster Handbook

Foster Profile Portal

Login here to set your availability and preferences for fostering animals with Santa Rosa Animal Services.

Schedule Foster Medical Exam

Make an appointment for foster medical exams.

Maddies Pet Assistant

Foster Parents are supported with Maddie’s Pet Assistant app. Get behavior and medical advice, send updates to the shelter, and more.

Kitten Care Training

Visit our Kitten Fostering Page.

Training and Behavioral Resources

Visit our Training and Behavior Page.

Marketing Your Foster Pet

The class Marketing Your Foster Pet 101 will give you the inside scoop on successful pet marketing. You'll learn tips and tricks for taking great photos and videos and writing social media posts that will help you and your shelter make the perfect match for your foster pet. 

Flash Classes

Fostering is a job for everyone, including you! But that doesn’t mean you have to be an expert - you just have to be willing to learn. To help you do that, Maddie’s Fund developed Flash Classes. Just like the name implies, these short, instructional classes cover individual topics that foster care givers encounter while caring for our beloved furry friends. Flash Classes give you all the information you need to provide the best care for your foster pet in a condensed, to- the-point format.

Facebook Group

Stay connected by joining our Santa Rosa County Animal Shelter Fosters and Volunteers group.

Foster Handbook Coming Soon!

For more information, contact Foster Coordinator, Jennifer Arn at