• Woman playing with a dog she has fostered at The Dubuque Regional Humane Society

Foster Program

The goal of the Dubuque Regional Humane Society’s (DRHS) foster care program is to rehabilitate animals in order to make them available for adoption. Cats, kittens, dogs, puppies, and various small mammals are able to find forever homes with the help of our dedicated foster families.

What is a foster parent?

A volunteer foster parent assists in the rehabilitation of an animal by providing in-home care. An animal may need a foster home for a variety of reasons including age, illness, injury, socialization, or to help provide needed space at the shelter for incoming animals. Foster parents provide a clean, safe, loving environment for the animals in their homes.

How long is the foster care commitment?

The length of foster care for each animal varies depending on its needs. Fostering may last from two weeks to several months. We have a need for foster parents throughout the year and foster parents are contacted by the Foster Program Coordinator as needs arise.

What are the expenses for a foster parent?

The DRHS furnishes all of the supplies needed to care for foster animals. This includes food, bedding, litter, toys, and enrichment items. Additionally, the DRHS provides all of the medical care and related expenses.

Foster parents are responsible only for the expenses of traveling to and from the shelter for medical care appointments and picking up supplies when needed. Appointments vary depending on the animal and reason an animal is in the foster program.

What are the responsibilities of a foster parent?

It is the foster family’s responsibility to provide a clean, safe, and loving environment for our foster animals. Being a foster parent requires the following:

  • A separate room or space in the home that keeps foster animals separate from your home animals.
  • Ability to commit to routine medical appointments
  • Have access to transportation
  • Be accessible by DRHS staff (phone, email, text, etc.)
  • Must be 18 years of age
  • If fostering dogs, a safe place to walk or an enclosed outdoor area where dogs can be supervised during outside time.
  • While fostering does not necessarily take a lot of time, time commitments vary depending on the needs of each animal and must be considered before taking on any foster animal.
  • Patience. Foster animals, like all animals, require patience as they transition to your home and environment.

Fostering is one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have. With your help, we are able to save lives. If you have any questions about our foster program contact our Foster Coordinator or fill out our application.

Download a Copy of our Handbook

Download a Copy of our Liability Waiver

Apply to Foster

Contact Us


4242 Chavenelle Road
Dubuque, IA 52002




Tuesday - Thursday: 11 AM to 5 PM
Friday: 11 AM to 7 PM
Saturday & Sunday: 11 AM to 5 PM
Monday: Closed

Hadley's Dog Park

Member's Only
Operating Hours:
6 AM - 8 PM
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