Shelters do the honorable work of saving animals from the street. However, shelters are usually very stressful places for pets, which can decrease their immune system making them prone to illness. Foster homes are usually less stressful for pets where they can decompress, speed recovery and minimize the risk of behavioral issues- all these factors increase the pets’ chances of adoption. Foster care allows young pets to grow up and sick and injured pets to heal. Additionally, foster care potentially increases shelters’ capacity to save companion pets, thereby reducing the need for euthanasia.


Long-Term Fostering

Fostering a BARK Dog with the expectation of fostering it until it gets adopted. The fostering period can vary from 1 month to several months, depending on the adoption demand for the dog.

If you fall so much in love with the dog that you want to adopt him/her, you can do so. If you have been fostering with us for less than 30 days, we will transfer you to our Foster-to-Adopt program.

If you have been fostering with us for at least 30 days and want to adopt your foster dog, all you’ll have to do is pay the adoption fee and sign the Adoption Agreement. In this case, until you sign the Adoption Agreement, we will continue to promote the dog for adoption and interview other potential adopters for the dog.

Our Long-Term Fostering is different from our Foster-to-Adopt program.

Vacation Fostering

Fostering a BARK dog only when its long-term foster is out of town. This can range from a weekend to a couple of weeks. Our expectation is that vacation fosters commit to fostering the dog for the full duration of the long-term foster’s out-of-town period. We expect vacation fosters to follow BARK Rescue’s guidance to keep the BARK dog, and any other pets in the foster’s home, safe


Please read through our foster parent criteria and our vetting process first before filling out the application.

  • Must be at least 18 years old.
  • Must be willing and able to take the dog to our vet partners in Hayward (CA), Concord (CA) or Turlock (CA). If you take the dog to a vet that is not partnered with us, you will be required to cover the bill.
  • Must be willing and able to take the dog to our adoption events in Fremont, San Jose, or Pleasanton.
  • Must have a safe and loving home for the dog.
  • Must not leave the dog unattended for more than 6 hours.
  • Must ensure that your personal pet is up-to-date on all the necessary vaccinations. Dogs from shelters are susceptible to shelter illnesses and so may carry or catch different diseases/illnesses. If your pet gets sick when fostering[ our dogs, we cannot cover the medical expenses for your personal pet

We are a small organization that is 100% run by volunteers who have full-time jobs. Our Foster-Rescue relationship is a collaboration/partnership. We try to provide as much assistance as we reasonably can, but we expect our fosters to work with us too to foster a give & take relationship.


To ensure that we place our dogs in the right home, we carefully vet all foster and foster-to-adopt applicants. **Note: as we are a foster-based organization, we cannot accommodate in-person meeting with the dog until the following vetting process has been done**

For Long-Term Foster Applicants:

  1. Virtual Interview & Virtual home check
  2. If the dog is straight out of the shelter, we will not be able to do a meet & greet as most shelters do not allow for that. Therefore, the foster will be meeting the dog when it gets transported from the shelter and must take the dog that day. We only take in a dog IF we have a foster that we think would be a good fit for the dog. Once we pull the dog out of the shelter, we have committed to rescuing that dog and cannot bring it back to the shelter. If the foster cannot take the dog, and if we do not have another foster who can take the dog, the foster must pay for the boarding fee of the dog until we find another foster who can take the dog. 
  3. If the dog is an owner surrender, we can do a meet & greet at the foster’s request. The meet & greet will be in a neutral environment. If the applicant has other pets in the house, all their personal pets must attend the meet & greet. A Foster Coordinator from BARK Rescue CA must be present to facilitate the meet & greet. What happens at the meet & greet?
    • Have the BARK dog and any personal pet of the applicant sniff each other
    • Do a pack walk with all pets. The applicant is encouraged to walk the BARK dog with the supervision of BARK’s foster coordinator. This way the applicant can feel what it’s like to walk the dog. 
    • The applicant is free to ask the dog’s surrendering owner any question about the dog. 
  4. If the meet & greet goes well: 
    • The foster coordinator, foster and dog owner schedule a time for the foster  to either pick up the dog or for the foster coordinator to deliver the dog to the applicant. To protect the privacy of the foster’s home, we do not allow the surrendering owner to drop off the dog to the foster’s home or the foster coordinator’s home. 
    • The foster coordinator sends the applicant the Foster-to-Adopt agreement to complete, sign, and submit online.

For Vacation Foster Applicants:

  1. Virtual Interview & Virtual home check
  2. In-person meet & greet between the Vacation Foster, Long-Term Foster, and the dog (and Vacation Foster’s dog, if any). The meet & greet will be in a neutral environment. A Foster Coordinator from BARK Rescue CA must be present to facilitate the meet & greet.

For Foster-to-Adopt Applicants:


Expenses we cover while you’re long-term fostering or vacation-fostering a dog with us:

  • Adoptability Expenses: Expenses that make the dog adoptable
    • Updated basic vaccinations (boosters or initials):
      • DHPP
      • Bordetella
      • Rabies
      • Heartworm testing
      • Heartworm Prevention medications that will be shared with other BARK dogs in the same weight range. 
      • Flea & Tick prevention
    • Spay/Neuter Fees
      • Surgery fees
      • Pain relief injection on the day of surgery
      • At-home pain relief medications
      • At-home antibiotics medications
      • E-Collar
  • Food
  • Crate
  • Other reimbursable expenses listed on our Expense Policy.

Expenses we cover if you’re fostering-to-adopting with us: