San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter Foster Program

Become a foster

Thinking About Joining our Foster Family?

Thank you for your interest in becoming a foster for San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter! We need YOU to help us fulfill our mission to care for, protect, and find quality homes for abandoned and neglected animals! Fostering is free and very rewarding. You are also helping your community: every pet that goes into foster care allows another needy pet to come into the shelter off the streets!

How to Become a Foster

  1. Fill out the foster application
  2. Once submitted, to expedite your approval, contact (512) 210-4186 or; otherwise, if approved you will receive a welcome email within 72 hours.

General Foster Guidelines for SMRAS Foster Program: 

If you are chosen as a foster for the City of San Marcos, the following rules will apply.

  • Once a foster animal is taken home, fosters must keep that animal for a minimum of five days unless they are adopted or unless an emergency occurs. This is to ensure that an adequate transition can occur, as moving homes is a stressful experience for shelter animals. This five-day minimum requirement also applies to households who might want to return their foster animal, as it takes our Foster team several days to secure a new kennel. We do not recommend introducing foster animals to other pets currently in the home until this five-day threshold is met. 
  • Fosters are responsible for reaching out to interested adopters and for scheduling meet and greets in a timely manner. Should an interested adopter express interest, their name and contact information will be forwarded to the Foster for that animal by shelter staff, who will then contact the interested adopter within 24 hours to assess compatibility. Should they seem like a good fit for your foster animal, Fosters will then arrange an in-person meet and greet with the animal either in their home, at a neutral but quiet public place, or at the shelter. Afterwards, Fosters will contact the Foster Coordinator to relay crucial information and to setup a time for the adopter to come into the shelter to finalize the adoption.
  • All foster animals are eligible to be adopted while in foster care. Fosters are not permitted to put “holds” on their foster animals at any time, and must respond to adoption inquiries in a timely manner. If you are interested in adopting, please inform the Program Coordinator as soon as possible.


It's Kitten Season! Sounds cute, right? Not really. This is the time when our shelter sees hundreds of orphaned kittens come in, and we need fosters. If you're interested, fill out our foster application if you think you can help, or contact if you have questions!

  • We will provide a kitten starter kit to you based on the kitten's age with food, milk, bottles, and a heating pad. Medical car is covered at our shelter, so you don't have to worry! 
  • Need more support? We have foster mentors to walk you through any challenging times.
  • Foster length of stay varies from kitten to kitten. If you're only able to emergency foster for a weekend or overnight, you are still saving a life.
  • If you prefer to foster the kitten until it gets adopted (kittens become adoptable around 2-pounds/9 weeks) so it won't be stressed at the shelter, that also works! If you're fostering a kitten and fall in love, you're more than welcome to adopt!

Dog's Day Out:

Dog's Day Out is a program where approved fosters can “borrow” a shelter dog for up to 3 hours on Sunday, Monday, or Thursday between 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. to go on adventures, hikes, or just take a little drive around town. Through this program, our pets get a chance to stretch their paws and take in the sights, and our community has the opportunity to see our amazing pets outside of the shelter environment.

Complete our foster application, and be sure to note that you are interested in our Dog’s Day Out program.

A few pups enjoying their Dog's Day Out!

Davey (46829671)
Georgette (46901929)
Mikey (45922385)
Vulcan (46604132)
Duffy (46425266)
Lola (46890837)
Baby Belle