Foster Parenting

Throughout the year, SPCA Auckland need temporary homes for animals to recover from illness or injury before they can be adopted. You can help save the life of an animal by becoming an SPCA foster parent today.

Many of the animals that come into the SPCA Auckland Animal Village need additional care, treatment and socialisation before finding their new forever home. Our volunteer foster parents provide a temporary home for these animals and help them recover from surgery, give them medicine for an illness, or work with them to improve their behaviour. 

We need foster parents to provide temporary homes for cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs and farm animals year-round, but our greatest need for cat fosterers is during the busy summer months.

Important notice:

Due to a high amount of recent interest, all of our foster applications are currently on hold while we try to attend to the applications we have received. 

Thank you in advance for your interest and please keep this page bookmarked and we will update you as soon as applications are back open.

Why foster an animal?

  • If you can only open your home on a temporary basis, fostering an animal is a great way to rescue an animal in need
  • Every animal that you foster is given a second chance at life – and the more you foster, the more lives you can help save
  • All SPCA foster parents receive training at our workshops and ongoing support from our foster department
  • We supply all food, bedding, toys and everything else to help the animals have a comfortable stay in your home
  • Our on-site hospital perform health checks and provide medicine as required

What you need to help

  • Time – on average an animal will be staying with you between 3 – 6 weeks but this can differ depending on the animal you foster
  • Spare room (required for cats but also useful for dogs) – a safe and secure space away from other animals which could be a spare room, bathroom or laundry.
  • Care – most animals will require medication throughout their stay (training on how to medicate an animal is provided)
  • Transport – you will need your own transport to bring foster animals to and from the SPCA Auckland Animal Village – some animals might need more than one visit (this is not required for large farm animals as we can help with transport to the foster home)
  • Availability for vet appointments – you will need to be able to bring the foster animal to vet appointments on weekdays at the following times: 8.10am, 8.30am, 8.50am, 10.20am, 10.40am, 11am, 2pm, 2.20pm, 2.40pm, 3.20pm, 3.40pm or 4pm (this is not required for large farm animals as vet appointments take place at the foster home)
  • Attend a 90 minute foster information session at the Animal Village in Mangere
  • Your love and patience

Special notes for dog and farm animal foster parents:

  • Our dog foster parents should have experience handling and training dogs and ideally be at home for at least part of the day; this is because many of the dogs that are needing foster require socialisation and special training as many have never experienced a real home environment before.
  • Our farm animal foster parents should have experience with the type of farm animal they would like to foster. All farm foster animals will need socialisation but only some require you to be home during the day for tasks such as bottle feeding

Special notes for rabbit and guinea pig foster parents.

  • Your own suitable accommodation is needed. Such as: sizable hutch, playpen, spare room.
  • A fully fenced section is required if animals to are to be kept outside.
  • Some experience with rabbits and guinea pigs is required. 
  • A full manual and ongoing assistance will be provided.

What does fostering involve?

Every animal has different needs, but a typical foster experience might include: 

  • Filling out our application form and a quick follow-up phone interview with our foster team
  • Property check by one of our Field Officers (dogs and large animals only)
  • Attending a 90-minute information and training workshop at the SPCA Auckland Animal Village
  • Pick up your foster animal and required supplies. We’ll give you food, bedding, toys, medicine and anything else it needs – some animals may also need a follow-up vet appointment
  • For dog fosterers we also do a meet and greet with your resident dogs to ensure they are compatible with your potential foster dog
  • Give your foster animal your love, care and patience, and introduce them to a real home life experience, rules and boundaries
  • Return the animal back to SPCA Auckland Animal Village when it has recovered

Volunteers are vital to the work of the SPCA. Find out how you can help us today

SPCA Guardian

Become an SPCA Guardian and help take action for Auckland's animals in need.