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. Register on our portal, and fill out our foster application.
  2. We will approve your application as soon as we can! To expedite your foster approval. contact (512) 805-2653 or email otherwise, 
  3. Schedule your pick-up! Your welcome email will explain next steps to pick up your foster pet. If needed, we will provide a starter kit with leash and collar, food, and a litterbox.

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.

Please note: 

  • The shelter reserves the right to prioritize/select animals suitable for foster and we are most ofter in need of fosters for dogs over 30 pounds, pets with medical or behavioral challenges, and underage kittens.
  • To foster-to-adopt a pet, we recommend contacting our adoptions team if you have questions or concerns about which pets qualify or how a pet may fit with your lifestyle. Call (512) 805-2657 or email