FOSTER Services

The Heart of Appalachia Animal Rescue have an active group of dedicated fosters, but we are always in need of more.  Fostering an animal helps us expand the number of animals we can help.  We have limited space at our adoption center and many times if we don’t have a foster family, we have to turn animals in need away. Many times fosters are only needed for a short period of time until other arrangements can be made or until space is open at the adoption center.

Can you get attached? Yes of course you can, but many of our fosters keep the mindset that they are providing a life-saving opportunity to an animal that otherwise may not survive.  They approach fostering as a stop along the way to an even better life with their forever family. If you are interested in fostering, read through our facts and questions and fill out the foster form below to find out more.

We are always so grateful for our foster families as they allow us to save lives. If you meet the above requirements and are interested in fostering, please contact us!

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn How it Works!


No worries, all expenses are covered by us. Food is provided as-needed. All medical expenses are paid by us if vet care is needed during the fostering.


It depends. We have needs for both long and short-term fosters.

Short-term foster needs include:

  • A weekend foster to save a life while we find a space at the adoption center or can secure a transport with one of our partner rescue groups.

  • A week or so foster to just give one of our long-term fosters a little break or cover their fosters while they are on vacation.

  • Helping an animal recover from a medical procedure or illness where they would do better at home than at the shelter while they recover.

  • A 2-3 week foster to give us time to get the animal up to date on vaccinations. This time could mean the difference between life and death for the animal, especially when the adoption center is at capacity.

Long-term foster needs include:

  • Helping an animal who is too stressed at the adoption center or local animal shelter.

  • Helping an animal that needs additional attention or a more calm home environment than can be provided at the adoption center. We usually see this with our owner surrender animals that are used to being in a home environment and does better in a foster home.

  • Foster a pregnant mom and help her welcome new life with young pups or kittens. Typically foster time for pups or kittens lasts until the animals are old enough for spay/neuter which is approximately 8 weeks.



Foster requirements are in place to ensure that all of our animals have the care and environment they need as well as access to our veterinarians.

  • I live within one hour of Rutherford County.  Our medical partnerships are local so if your foster needs vet care we want to be able to get them that care. If you live further away, you may still be able to foster as long as you are willing to make the drive as needed.

  • Willing to bring animal in as needed for vet care, adoption events or meet and greet with prospective adopters.

  • You own your home or your landlord allows pets. For those that rent, we must call the landlord to confirm pets are okay.

  • If you live with others, including kids, spouses, roommates, everyone in the home must be in agreement to fostering.

  • Ability to separate the foster from your own pet, especially during feeding time or during a quarantine period, if needed.

  • A back-up person that could transport the animal in case of emergency if you are unavailable.

  • All pets in the home must be up to date on vaccines and the foster animals must be housed indoors