Animal Welfare League

of Queen Anne's County

Queenstown, MD 21658
Our Hours

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What is a Foster Home?

A foster home is a temporary living situation for animals while they are awaiting placement in a permanent home. Foster families provide shelter, food, care and love. The more individuals that generously choose to foster an animal, the more animals that we can save. In fact this is the key to assure that we achieve our mission of no-kill despite the fact that we are an open admission shelter. There are only a few open admission shelters around the country that have achieved no-kill status and foster homes have played a significant role. By freeing up space in our shelter we can potentially save animals scheduled for euthanasia in other shelters. We feel confident that we have the caring community that can make this amazing goal a reality!

Why Foster?

Fostering is the most important piece of the puzzle in our attempt to continue fulfilling our no-kill mission. Without foster families to keep cats and dogs continuously moving out of the shelter when space becomes limited, we could never maintain our no-kill status.

As a foster volunteer you may host animals with special medical or behavioral needs, such as extremely shy animals; puppies or kittens under eight weeks of age and in need of special feeding and socialization or mother animals with nursing litters. Some animals simply get too stressed in a shelter environment and do much better in a home. By fostering you can provide rehabilitation and/or socialization in a nurturing home environment that directly prepares the animal for adoption into a loving home.

Being a pet foster family has rewards beyond helping a pet in need find a loving home and saving lives. Fostering provides the opportunity to have an animal companion without a lifetime commitment, or to try new companions for an existing pet. For others, it is the special challenge of helping an animal recover from an illness or injury, or recover from the trauma of losing a beloved owner or home. Some enjoy the reward of helping an animal overcome a behavioral issue. Many want the joy of giving tender loving care to kittens and puppies.

Is it difficult to say good-bye?

Making a difference this big isn’t always easy, but if you keep the right perspective and celebrate that you have saved a life it can be very exciting! Letting go of a foster enables you to help another animal in need. While each adoption saves a life and is in itself amazing, a foster parent can save many lives! What an amazing gift to yourself and/or your family and the lives of the animals that you have saved.

What are the Responsibilities of a Foster Family?

  • Provide a safe, caring environment
  • Provide food, water, litter, toys/enrichment (AWL will assist if needed)
  • Provide exercise and socialization as appropriate
  • Monitor any medical and/or behavioral problems
  • Transport to/from any necessary vet appointments (other volunteers or AWL staff can also help)
  • Transport to/from offsite adoption events (other volunteers or AWL staff can also help)
  • If you choose to foster a sick animal, especially for cats and bottle baby kittens, the foster pet(s) will require isolation from other animals in the home for 10-14 days or longer.

What are our Responsibilities to you?

  • Provide all veterinary care and some of the basic supplies.
  • Assure that you have as much information as possible about the animal you will be fostering.
  • Provide support as needed via phone or in your home.
  • Assist you as needed to monitor and address any medical and/or behavioral problems.
  • Immediately remove the animal from your home if you can no longer foster regardless of the reason.

Foster Application Form


By appointment only. 

Our Address

Queenstown, MD 21658

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