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Fostering a Pet as a Family Around the Main Line

By fostering a pet, your family can learn lessons in compassion while helping a shelter animal find a "fur-ever" home

If you’re thinking about adding a furry member to the family, but not sure if you’re ready, consider fostering a pet from a shelter. Around the Main Line there are many rescue organizations with animals that need a nurturing home on a temporary basis. 

Why Foster A Pet?

People choose to foster a dog or a cat for many reasons. For some, it’s the desire to help shelter animals without committing to adoption. For others, it can provide a temporary buddy for their own pet. And depending on the foster program, some families foster a pet as a trial period, with the intention to adopt if the cat or dog is a good fit.

Whatever your reason for fostering a pet, it’s hugely beneficial to homeless animals. First and foremost, fostering a shelter animal gives that dog or cat a much-needed break from a cage or crate. Getting to spend time in a loving home helps socialize a shelter pet, thus increasing its chances of adoption.

Of course as a foster family, there are benefits for you, too. Learning to nurture and care for an animal in need is a wonderful experience for the whole family.

“Fostering as a family is an incredible journey that brings everyone closer while teaching invaluable lessons in empathy and responsibility. Many of our current foster families began this adventure because their kids love animals, and now, they couldn’t imagine life any other way. It’s a heartwarming experience that not only provides a loving home for those in need but also creates a stronger, more compassionate family bond.”


Tracy Long, Executive Director & Founding Member
To Love a Canine (TLC) Rescue, Chester County
A foster pup is part of the family. Photo courtesy of All 4 Paws.

Foster Success  

All kinds of animals turn up in a shelter that need foster care. You could open your home to a litter of nursing puppies or kittens. You might help a dog or cat recovering from an illness. Or you might foster a healthy, adult cat or dog that just needs a lucky break to find its forever home. With so many animals in need of foster care, rescue organizations will work with you to find the right match for your level of experience and commitment. 

Most foster programs range from a period of a couple weeks to a couple months and pet supplies are often provided by the rescue organization. And while “foster fails” do happen — that’s when a foster pet gets adopted by the foster family — foster programs are designed to be a nurturing, but temporary stop. When the foster period ends, letting go of a furry friend can be hard. However, the reward is knowing that you made that animal’s life better and helped pave the way to its forever home! 

“By being a foster home, you are literally helping to save a life and giving a needy pet a second chance at finding a family of its own, all while teaching your children responsibility, compassion and selflessness. We could not save the lives we do without our devoted foster families!”


Kristen Geddes, Founder/Director, All 4 Paws, Chester Springs

Pet Fostering Programs Around the Main Line

Ready to open your heart and home to a new furry friend? These rescue organizations are working in our area to find good homes for animals in need.

All 4 Paws Rescue

Chester Springs, PA

Brandywine Valley SPCA

West Chester, PA

Main Line Animal Rescue

1149 Pike Springs Road, Phoenixville, PA

PAWS Adoption Center

100 N 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA

Providence Animal Center

555 Sandy Bank Rd, Media, PA

To Love a Canine Rescue

Chester County, PA

Lead photo collage courtesy of Main Line Animal Rescue.

Main Line Parent Writer & Calendar Editor. Email beth@familyfocus.org.

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