Fostering with CaliCan Rescue 

"We started fostering as a way of recovering from the loss of our family dog to cancer. We didn't realize at the time that this would have been one of the best decisions of our life. The foster dogs have taught us so much about ourselves and the infinite capacity for love both in canines and humans."

- Amanda Yu

Our dreams and goals of helping these small dogs get a second chance at life, wouldn’t be possible without our foster volunteers.  If you have a big heart, a lot of love and a little extra room in your home for an extra little dog, maybe fostering is for you!


Why is there a foster program?

CaliCan Rescue, like most other rescues, don’t own a centralized shelter location for our dogs to go to. We rely completely on our volunteers opening their homes to a dog. If we don’t have a foster home for a dog to go to, we can’t take in that dog. This is why fosters are so important to us, you’re helping to save lives.

As a Foster Pawrent, you get to be a hero to these dogs. You get to show your new foster dog some love, and what it’s like to feel safe and cared for. You get to be there to watch their quirky antics, help them with socialization, maybe teach them some house manners and mainly, show them what it’s like to be part of a family. To them you are a loving home for them while they wait for their forever home.


What do I have to provide for fostering a dog?

We will happily provide you with all supplies you may need for fostering a CaliCan dog. Through generous donations and our partnership with Berkeley’s Place, we are fully able to provide these dogs with everything they will need.  Food, treats, toys, beds, etc. we have ready for you when opening your home to a rescue pup.

If your foster pup requires medical treatment, we provide that too of course! You will never be expected to pay for a vet bill for your foster when you go to one of CaliCan’s specified vets. All dogs prior to being adopted undergo microchipping,  spay/neuter, vaccinations and have any other potential medical issues addressed. California dogs are all heartworm tested,microchipped, vaccinated and de-sexed prior to their trip to Canada.

"I'm not in a position to have a dog of my own, so my friend, who volunteers with CaliCan and adopted her dog from the agency, suggested I foster.  This seemed like an amazing opportunity to have a dog in my life for a short term basis.  So I began fostering, and I love it.  Some of these foster dogs are in rough shape. But, through a loving and caring home, these dogs really flourish and become the most affectionate and loyal creatures.  This is very stratifying to witness, and these wonderful dogs are such a pleasure to have in my life."

- Elizabeth Wong

Is it hard to give up a foster dog? I don’t think I’d be able to do it, I’d want to keep them!

I always say to approach fostering like you’re puppy sitting. It’s impossible to not become attached, but the rewards outweigh the tiny bit of grief you feel seeing a pup go. You know that these pups are going to great homes, and you’ve helped provide them with a solid foundation to start their new lives on. We involve our fosters in the search for the perfect fit for a home; we ask you your opinion on suitable applicants that come in for your foster dog. If there are any questions regarding your foster pup, we forward them onto you. Knowing the home where your foster dog is going helps when it’s time to say good-bye. We encourage you to promote your foster pup to friends, family and coworkers too!


What Training am I required to do?

While we don’t require your foster pup to pass basic obedience before they can be adopted, there may be behaviors that need to be altered while in your home. This is completely dependent on the foster dog.

House training:

There may be cases where some house training is required. We can’t 100% guarantee that a dog will come to you and never have any accidents. Expect, especially the first couple days, to help reinforce good housetraining behavior as the stress of a new home and routine can lead to some accidents. House training is fairly straight-forward that can be developed through consistency, so if you ever need some extra help, or support don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We are here to support our fosters, no matter what the issue may be.

Crate Training:

CaliCan fully endorses crate training. When done properly, crate training a dog provides them with a safe and secure place to retreat to. It acts like their own room in the house, where they can take a nap, chew a bone, or just get away from something stressful.  Crating a dog while you are not in the home not only protects the dog from getting into something harmful while you’re away, it protects your belongings from any mischief making they might get up to. This is again, a very straight forward training method and we’re happy to help you should a dog require crate training.

"I started fostering to help dogs, I was told "foster one dog & save two lives" - I continue to foster because you meet wonderful people, make lifelong friends, learn something new with EVERY foster about how to become a better pup parent, but most of all to be part of a team transforming an unwanted dog into the most loved and snuggled family member ever. Total satisfaction!"

- Kim Shenton

Will the dog bark or shed a lot? Will they get along with other members of my household?


All dogs shed- yes, even the ones that claim to ‘not shed’. Some are certainly less hard one allergen suffers , but please expect there to be some dog hair around your house at the very least. Dogs usually experience a blowing of the coat at the beginning of each season as they begin to develop their seasonal appropriate coat. We can’t guarantee a dog will or will not shed.


All dogs bark, some bark more, some rarely bark. We can’t always determine who will be an excessive barker, but we do try to consider this when placing a foster with someone who say lives in an apartment complex. With some patience and work, we can help you train an excessive barker to be slightly quieter.

Other members of the household:

We are not always able to pre-test a pup on whether they will do well with kids, cats or other pets. We base foster homes on the dogs background info as much as possible. If we have a dog we know does not respond well to kids, we will not place them in a foster home with children. Same idea for cats or other pets.  If we don’t know how they’ll react, we will certainly share this with you so you can make an informed decision prior to fostering. Generally speaking, we don’t have many incidents of conflicts, either dog-cat related or dog-kid related.

What if it just isn’t working out?

It’s just not working, you’ve tried everything, but you’re stressed and the dog is stressed and nothing seems to be going right. Take a deep breath, we won’t abandon you. This happens rarely, but if things are really not working out, we will work with you to find another foster home for the pup as quickly as possible. You’re never ‘stuck’ with a dog. We have a strong support network for our fosters, you’re never alone. Please, don’t ever feel like you’re trapped. We work to make this a pleasant and enjoyable experience for everyone involved, we don’t want fostering to feel like a horrible chore, it’s supposed to be fun! If there was a personality mismatch, we take that into consideration for the next time around.


If you have additional questions, feel free to e-mail our foster coordinator, Kathleen or fill out our foster application!