Why foster?

City Dogs & City Kitties Rescue (CDCK) was formed in 2011 to save adoptable pets in overcrowded and high-kill shelters where resources are severely limited. Many of these dogs are days or even hours from being euthanized when CDCK steps in and offers them a lifeline. 

Unlike a shelter facility, our rescue relies on foster homes to care for our dogs until they are adopted. By finding these dogs permanent and loving homes in the DC area, we enrich both canine and human lives. Foster parents help us learn more about a cat or dog’s personality, temperament, and training level so that we can match them with the right forever home. We truly wouldn’t be able to save these lives without our foster families! 

We request that you commit to a minimum of two weeks but prefer if you can foster until adoption. This time period varies but averages about two months.

What Does a Foster Do?
As a foster parent, you provide a home, food, bed and TLC. We also host cat adoption events from time to time. City Dogs & City Kitties Rescue pays for all pre-approved vetting during the foster period and provides basic supplies (including a collar, harness, leash and crate for dogs). Your foster dog or kitty provides lots of love, tail wags, snuggles, and kisses!

Are you convinced yet?

Please note: City Dogs & City Kitties Rescue​ adopters are already pre-approved to foster. If you want to foster a dog, contact us!

If you are looking to rehome your pet and you did not adopt them from City Dogs & City Kitties Rescue, visit rehome.adoptapet.com to learn more and create their profile. ​

​*If you need to return your CDCK cat or dog, please contact info@citydogsrescuedc.org.

“Fostering a dog has been the greatest thing I’ve done. Thanks City Dogs [& City Kitties] Rescue for allowing me to be a temporary mom to your sweet dogs!”

Application Process

  1. Application: Interested fosters should fill out an application.
  2. Important Note Regarding Timing:  We screen all applications to find what we believe will be the best environment for our foster dogs and kitties. Our typical response time is within a week. Please do not interpret a lack of response as a belief by City Dogs & City Kitties Rescue that you would not be able to provide a loving home for one of our animals.  
  3. Applications Counselor: Applicants who pass initial screening will be assigned a volunteer applications counselor, who will review the application and have a brief conversation with each applicant to determine her/his needs and preferences.
  4. Reference Checks: If applicable, CDCK will call the applicant’s veterinarian to ensure that previous pets have been spayed/neutered, vaccinated and well cared for. CDCK  will also call personal references listed on the application.
  5. Renters/Condo Owners: For renters, CDCK  will check with an applicant’s landlord to ensure that cats and/or dogs are permitted and check on any size or breed restrictions. We also review condo association rules regarding pets.
  6. Home Visit: CDCK  will visit each applicant’s home to see the environment where the cat and/or dog will live and answer any questions the applicant might have.
  7. Foster Agreement: If the applicant is approved for fostering, CDCK and the prospective foster will enter into a foster agreement. After receipt of the agreement, the newly approved foster will be assigned a Foster Assistant who will provide support throughout your time as a foster. 


A foster’s purpose is to provide a temporary home for a dog or cat, and help the rescue get animals ready for adoption. This could include acclimating the animal to living in a home, bringing them to adoption events (we have virtual and in-person), do some basic training with the animal, and helping the animal get healthy if they have medical needs.

Yes. There may be some cases where your home situation won’t be the right match for an animal (for example a dog may need a quieter area, a home without children, etc.) but we will discuss this with you. 

Since we do not have a shelter, many of our animals are transported to the DC area only once we’ve secured a foster to pick them up that day. In those cases, you will not get to meet the animal before deciding whether to foster. However, we often have animals that are already in the DC area that need to be moved to a new foster home, and in those cases it is possible to meet the animal first. 

You do not need to have a yard or a car to foster! We require that City Kitties be indoor-only cats, and most dogs do not need a yard as long as they get enough mental and physical exercise. We will work with you to get you and your animal to any necessary vet appointments or adoption events. 

We ask that our fosters commit to fostering for at least two weeks at a time, with a preference for foster families who can see the animal through adoption. This is to minimize moving animals around which can cause stress and anxiety for them. We occasionally need temporary fosters for shorter lengths of time, but all foster applicants must be willing to foster a dog for at least the two-week period. 

CD&CK will pay for all medical expenses as long as they are approved first, and we provide dog fosters with monthly flea/tick and heartworm preventatives. The rescue also provides dogs with a collar, harness, leash, “Adopt Me” vest, and a crate if requested. As a foster you will be responsible for providing food, toys, and treats. Additionally, the rescue often receives donations that we can pass on to fosters, such as food, toys, and dog beds. 

If your foster and household pet do not get along, we will work with you to find a new foster for the animal. Because we do not have a shelter, it may be a few days before we are able to find a new foster. In the meantime, we ask that you be patient and keep the animals separated. 

It can take anywhere from a week to several months for a dog to be adopted, but this depends on the dog and their specific needs. We have found the average for dogs to be 4-6 weeks and cats to be 4-8 weeks.

When you foster, you are a stepping stone on that animal’s journey to finding a loving home. In many cases you are saving its life. It can be hard not to grow attached to a foster dog or cat and want to keep it, but once that animal goes to its furever home you’ll feel immense satisfaction and pride in being a part of its journey. Many of our fosters keep in touch with the families that adopt their foster animals and are able to receive updates as the pet settles into their new home. Keeping a spot open in your home for a foster animal allows you to make a difference over and over and help more animals in their most vulnerable time.

Once a dog is in its DC area foster home, if an application comes in for their dog we allow fosters to have 24 hours to think about whether they would like to adopt. If the dog is not yet in DC, we will process applications for that dog without first consulting with the planned foster.

We offer weeklong trial adoptions for adopters who commit to picking up their dog the day that it arrives to DC, to adopters who have young children, and to adopters who have resident animals. We may offer a trial adoption in other instances on a case by case basis. If you are not yet ready to commit to adopting and the dog you’re interested in needs a foster, you are welcome to fill out a foster application instead. However, while your application is being processed, another already-approved foster may sign up to foster that dog, or an adopter may apply for it. We do not reserve dogs for foster applicants that are not yet approved, and if the dog is not yet in DC the foster does not get 24 hours to make a decision about adopting if an application is submitted.