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Occasionally, we have dogs and cats that come to the shelter who either have, or develop, specific needs that cannot be met within the shelter environment. As such, we are looking for dedicated, qualified, and patient individuals who are interested in being on call for fostering situations.

What Does it Mean to Foster?

At the Bow Valley SPCA, we are not a foster-based shelter. This means that animals who are available for foster are only those that need qualified and committed individuals to work through specific behavioural/medical issues.

Some examples of the animals available for foster are those who:

As such, fostering with the Bow Valley SPCA means helping to work on and provide for these behaviour and/or health challenges, so that the animal in foster works towards a state of higher adoptability.

It is the goal of the foster home to help the animal thrive and find their true colours and personality in a safe, quiet, stable and secure home environment so that they can find their forever homes.

What Animals are Available for Foster?

The animals we place into foster, are those that are in need. We will reach out to those on our Approved Foster Call List when we have an animal come available for foster.

You can check out our Dog and Cat adopt pages, and read our animals currently in foster homes, to get an idea of the types of animals that we require foster homes for.

As it is infrequent that we place animals into foster, there are many foster-based rescues in Calgary and surrounding areas, which may be a better fit if you are wanting to foster an animal ASAP, or an animal without severe behaviour/medical challenges.

What am I Required to Do As a Foster?

The goal of fostering is to help the animal in question become the best version of themselves until they find their forever homes. This means providing safety, love, and behavioural training and/or medical care as instructed by the team at the Bow Valley SPCA.

As the animals placed into foster have specific needs, the foster is required to be in weekly contact with the Adoption Centre Manager, providing updates and seeking answers to any questions or challenges that may arise. The foster is required to contact the Adoption Centre Manager should an unforeseen medical or behavioural concern occur. Fostering for dogs with behaviour challenges may require weekly training sessions, with a BVSPCA team member, at the Carla Cumming Sojonky Adoption Centre.

The Adoption Centre Manager will provide the foster with a specific care plan for the animal being placed into foster and will provide the foster with ongoing instruction and support for medical and/or behavioural needs of the animal.

The Bow Valley SPCA will provide all necessary supplies, and will cover the cost of food, cat litter, medications, and pre-arranged veterinary appointments.

What are the Requirements to Foster?

The most important requirement for fostering one of our animals is a big heart full of patience and love.

The following are also important to ensure that our animals have the best chance at overcoming their challenges and finding their forever homes.

The foster must:

Please note that while families are welcome and encouraged to foster, due to the nature of our animals any children in the home must be over the age of 12 and be experienced with animal care. Many foster animals will require an adult-only home with no other pets.

How Do I Become a Foster?

If you are interested in being placed on our Approved Foster Call List, you must be registered as a Volunteer with the Bow Valley SPCA (see How to Volunteer).

When we have an animal that is in need of fostering, we will reach out to those that have indicated an interest in fostering, and look for the best match for the animal’s specific needs.

If you decide you would like to foster the animal in need, the Centre Staff will provide a Foster Application Form and conduct an interview/home visit to ensure suitability.

Please note that animals will be placed into homes based on best fit, so expressing interest in fostering does not guarantee that you will be selected to foster an animal when one comes available.

Thank you so much for your interest in helping our dogs and cats that need some extra love and attention!

Questions or concerns, please contact us at 403-609-2022 or email