COVID-19 FAQs: I want to help

Fri, 03/20/2020 - 20:41
Smiling woman holding a small scruffy dog

I have extra time on my hands. How can I help?
I want to foster. How can I connect with a shelter or rescue group in need of foster homes?
I want to foster but have never done it before. How can I find out if my home is a good place to foster?
I want to foster, but I can only foster certain types of pets.
I want to foster, but I have my own pets. Is that OK?
I want to foster but my partner or roommate isn’t on board.
I am working from home right now and would like to try fostering, but I'm not sure how long I will be working from home.
My local shelter is still open, but is it safe for me to volunteer there?
My local shelter is closed to the public. Are there other ways I can help besides physically going to my shelter?
I have pet food and supplies I would like to donate. Where can I take these items?
Is there a list of shelters or rescue groups in my area who need help?
Can I still visit the Sanctuary and volunteer?

I have extra time on my hands. How can I help?

If you find that you can provide short-term care for a homeless pet (perhaps if you are newly working from home), fostering a pet can be a great way to support your community and help save lives. A little fun, four-legged company can also be a welcome distraction. 

Find a shelter or rescue group in your area

Find a Best Friends Network partner

Visit 911fosterpets.com to search for local pets needing help.

Are you a member of the 2025 Action Team. If not, this is a great time to join. You can connect with others in your area on ways to help people and pets during this challenging time. For some of the immediate ways you can help in your neighborhood, download these Community Kindness Cards and guide on how to organize your neighborhood.

I want to foster. How can I connect with a shelter or rescue group in need of foster homes?

Thank you for your interest in fostering! Now, more than ever, communities need individuals like yourself who are willing to share their home with an animal in need.

Find a shelter or rescue group in your area

Find a Best Friends Network partner

Visit 911fosterpets.com to search for local pets needing help.

I want to foster but have never done it before. How can I find out if my home is a good place to foster?

Fostering is easier than you may think. Almost every home can be a foster home. Best Friends and most shelter partners provide all the training, information and supplies needed to get started. Read through this helpful set of questions. Still not sure? Contact Best Friends or your local shelter with specific questions or concerns.

Click here to find a shelter or rescue group in your area.

Find a Best Friends Network partner.

Visit 911fosterpets.com to search for local pets needing help.

I want to foster, but I can only foster certain types of pets.

All kinds of animals need fostering, so chances are there’s a good fit for your household. Best Friends and your local shelter can help you find the right match. Contact Best Friends or your local shelter with your specific questions and concerns.

Pet fostering Q&A

Click here to find a shelter or rescue group in your area.

Find a Best Friends Network partner.

Visit 911fosterpets.com to search for local pets needing help.

Caring for orphaned newborn puppies: Basic care, feeding and disease prevention

Bottle-feeding kittens

I want to foster, but I have my own pets. Is that OK?

Many people who foster pets do so because of their love for animals, and that means they usually have their own pets at home. Here are some tips for Keeping your pets safe when you foster.

I want to foster but my partner or roommate isn’t on board.

Fostering can seem complicated, and it’s understandable that other people in your household may be hesitant. We’re here to provide as much information as possible to help your family make an informed decision. Here are some helpful answers about fostering homeless pets.

Still not sure? Contact Best Friends or your local shelter with specific questions or concerns.

Find a shelter or rescue group in your area.

Find a Best Friends Network partner.

I am working from home right now and would like to try fostering, but I'm not sure how long I will be working from home.

Even short-term fostering helps shelters and homeless pets. Whether you’ll be home for a few days a few weeks or a few months, you can help by fostering pets.

Click here to find a shelter or rescue group in your area.

Find a Best Friends Network partner.

My local shelter is still open, but is it safe for me to volunteer there?

For trusted sources on up-to-date information for pets and people, we recommend checking the following sites to get the latest safety information:

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

World Health Organization (WHO)

U.S. Department of Agriculture

My local shelter is closed to the public. Are there other ways I can help besides physically going to my shelter?

While it’s important to stay healthy and safe and take appropriate precautions, there are opportunities to come together to help people and pets in your community. Here are some ideas to consider.

If you have neighbors who are self-quarantined, offer to help walk their dog or take pets for routine vet visits. Be sure to read about current guidance from the CDC regarding quarantined individuals.

Utilize local social media channels and groups such as Facebook and Nextdoor to help return lost animals to their homes and address other minor animal-related issues in order to ease the burden on animal control officers and other animal welfare professionals.

Join the 2025 Action Team. You can connect with others in your area on ways to help people and pets during this challenging time. For some of the immediate ways you can help in your neighborhood, download these Community Kindness Cards and guide on how to organize your neighborhood.

I have pet food and supplies I would like to donate. Where can I take these items?

Most likely, your local shelter or rescue group can use donations and supplies. With situations changing quickly, it’s best to check their website and social media channels or contact them directly before stopping by with a donation.

Find a shelter or rescue group in your area

Find a Best Friends Network partner.

Is there a list of shelters or rescue groups in my area who need help?

Find a shelter or rescue group in your area using the community lifesaving dashboard.

Find a Best Friends Network partner.

Can I still visit the Sanctuary and volunteer?

For the first time in our 36-year history, we have made the difficult decision to close our Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, to visitors and volunteers ― to ensure the health of our staff members so that they can keep caring for the animals. We have also rolled out response operations to support our lifesaving centers, staff, our animal welfare partners and pet owners nationwide.

Our commitment to our fellow humans, which is as strong as our commitment to the animals, is what’s driving real-time decisions and creative solutions across the country in an effort to keep both people and pets safe. 


These resources are being frequently updated as situations change. If you have further questions or know of local resources that may be helpful, please reach out to covid@bestfriends.orgLearn more about Best Friends response to COVID-19 and how you can help.