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Denver Animal Shelter is an open-admission shelter that serves more than 7,500 lost and abandoned pets each year. Many of these pets are in need of additional care before they can be made available for adoption. The shelter is able to provide that care through our Foster Program with the help of a special team of volunteers that open their homes.

Foster Candidates:dog with tongue sticking out

  • Dogs and cats with litters
  • Litters of puppies and kittens without mom
  • Sick or injured animals that need a quiet place to recover
  •  Adoption Ambassadors looking for their adoptive family from their foster home
  • Long-term shelter residents in need of time away from the stress of the shelter
  • Terminal animals in need of hospice care

Because our Foster Program is so flexible, it’s perfect for:

  • Singles
  • Families
  • Students
  • Seniors
  • Long-term commitment phobes
  • Anyone who is unable to keep a pet of their own full time

cat laying on some toys


Must be willing to make a commitment of at least one foster animal per calendar year.

Application Now Closed

Thank you for your interest in the Denver Animal Protection Foster Program! We are not currently accepting new applications. We will begin taking foster applications again in early 2019. At that time, please return to this website to fill out an application online.

Application process:

  1. Complete the Foster Volunteer Application (available early 2019)
  2. Attend orientation and training
  3. Complete background check
  4. Complete home inspection

Frequently Asked Questions

Foster kitty pictureThe Foster Program was created to provide care for animals whose medical or behavioral conditions would improve more quickly in a home setting rather than at Denver Animal Shelter. Animals who enter foster care are generally underaged or underweight puppies and kittens as well as adult animals being treated for minor to moderate medical conditions. We have also launched a brand new and exciting program, Adoption Ambassadors, that will allow animals that are available for adoption to find their forever homes with the help of their foster family through community engagement without ever having to come back to the shelter. 

cat touching a doberman dog

Yes! Many foster volunteers already have pets. Your pets must be current on their core vaccinations and altered. The foster animals will need to have an area in your home that is separate from your pets where they can stay. This could be a bathroom, laundry room or guest room. The shelter's Foster Coordinator can assist foster volunteers in assessing and setting up an area that would be beneficial to the foster animal. 

Just your time and love!  Denver Animal Shelter will provide all the supplies that you will need to care for your foster animal. 

The average length of stay for a foster animal is two weeks. However, this will vary based on the needs of the foster animal, and it can range from one week to six weeks. Foster volunteers are able to take breaks from fostering whenever needed, such as for a vacation. The best thing about this program is its flexibility — foster volunteers provide care when they can and take breaks when needed.

chihuaha sticking his tongue out

It is easy to fall in love with a foster animal and want to keep it. Foster volunteers provide a great service by fostering animals in need, and should keep in mind that if they do not adopt they will be able to help more animals in the long run. Think of it as being a foster animal “aunt or uncle.” Foster animals are a great way to get the joys of having a pet without the commitment.

One of the best perks of being a foster volunteer is being empowered to find an adoptive family for your foster pet — be it a family member, friend, co-worker, acquaintance or via social media. You get to know your foster pet the best, so who better to find them that purrrfect forever home?


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With the help of supporters like you, Denver Animal Protection changed the lives of more than 11,000 animals in 2018! Sadly, many more animals are still waiting for love and happiness. Your gift makes a huge difference to Denver's most vulnerable animals!


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1241 W. Bayaud Ave.
Denver, CO 80223

Full-Service Hours
Monday-Friday: 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Vaccination Clinic Hours


Denver Animal Shelter

P: 720-913-1311

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