21800 Central Avenue, Matteson, IL 60443

Phone: 708-755-7387

21800 Central Avenue, Matteson, IL 60443

Phone: 708-755-7387

Animal Foster

Animal Foster


About fostering


We're always in need of foster families for dogs, cats, puppies and kittens. 

Take a look at some fostering FAQs below!



  • What is fostering?

    When you foster a shelter pet, you open your heart and home to an animal in need until he/she is able to find their forever home. Even if you don't have the ability to commit to a lifetime with a pet, you can temporarily house one and help them find their permanent family!

  • What kind of animals are eligible for fostering?

    We typically seek fosters for senior and/or medically needy pets, as well as mothers with nursing babies or orphaned kittens and puppies. However, sleepovers or short-term fostering is a great option to give pets a break from the shelter for a few days!

  • How long will I have my foster?

    It all depends on the animal(s) and their situation. Fostering could last from a few days to a few months depending on the care required. We will always be straightforward with fosters about what our expectations for length of stay are, and you will not be obligated to take home an animal that might need care for longer than you are able to give.

  • Am I responsible for finding a home for my foster?

    Fosters are not expected to find permanent homes for the pets in their care. However, it is very common (and encouraged) for fosters to share their pets on social media, we've seen so many adoptions happen this way!

    If you wish, your contact information may be included in your foster pet's online listing so potential adopters can reach out directly to ask any questions they may have. Dog fosters are also encouraged to attend offsite adoption events to get their pets more exposure.

  • What does it cost to foster?

    SSHS will cover all costs for the pets in your care. We are prepared to provide food, bowls, leashes, litter, crates and anything else that you might need to make a pet comfortable in your home.

    We will also take care of all vaccinations and heartworm/flea preventative for your foster. Depending on the situation, you may be asked to bring your foster in to the shelter for check-ins or vaccines.

  • What kind of space will I need to have to foster?

    Every situation is different. Many people keep foster pets in their own space/room, at least until the animal gets used to their new surroundings. Others give foster pets free reign of their home. Figure out what works best for you!

  • Can I be a foster even though I have other pets?

    Absolutely! Make sure to let our foster coordinator know about your resident pets so we make sure any fosters you take in will be a good fit.

  • What are the benefits of fostering and why do we need fosters?

    There are many great reasons to foster an SSHS pet, but here are just a few!
    - Have an animal companion without the lifetime commitment.
    - Help an animal recover from an illness/injury, with medical care covered by SSHS.
    - Give extra TLC to puppies and kittens too young to be adopted.
    - Goster homes help animals transition from the stress of living at the shelter.
    - Many pets struggle with the stress of a shelter environment and need the added comfort of a foster home.

Interested in Fostering?


Click below to reach the foster coordinator!Want to see what needs fostering? Check out our Trello board!

Become a Business Ambassador!


Local businesses can now partner with SSHS to showcase available animals in their business and promote them for adoption. Being a Business Ambassador helps us free up space in the shelter. This helps to keep animals happier and healthier, creating more adoptions! We will provide all the tools you need to success, including all medical care and food!

It's as simple as...
1. Sign up! Please email us a description of your business and if you are interested in housing dogs or cats.2. Set Up! Prepare your facility for your incoming animal, we will provide supplies and review program guidelines3. Snuggle Up! An animal will be placed into your care that best fits your needs! You will promote the animal to your clientele and care for it on a daily basis. 



Can we crash with you for a bit?


Short-term fosters needed!

You provide love and a place, we'll provide the rest!


Looking to help out and foster a pet in need, but can't make a long-term commitment? Try short-term fostering!


We ask for a commitment of at least 4-5 days for short-term fosters to help the pet get the most benefit out of being in a foster home. However, if you'd like to foster the pet longer, you are more than welcome to!


  • "Don't they get sad coming back?"

    A study done by Maddie's Fund through Carroll University shows that dog cortisol (stress) levels drastically dropped after one night in a foster home and continued to drop the following days. They found that when the pets returned to the shelter, rather than their cortisol levels spiking back up, they only went up slowly over time.

    This data leads us to believe that these sleepovers may act much like weekends to our workweek. They don’t make all our stress go away, but allow us to rest and recharge, before facing the next week! 

  • "Why is short-term fostering beneficial?"

    In addition to reducing stress levels, short-term fostering is also a great opportunity for a pet's true personality to shine outside of the shelter environment which gives us more information to find them their perfect home. Dogs who have been in foster care at least once tend to get adopted much faster than those who haven't. 

Ready to give it a try? Fill out the form below!