San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter Foster Program

Click here to become a foster

Hello, and thank you for your interest in becoming a Rescue Alliance Foster! We have many animals in need of a loving foster home, including our young neonatal kittens and puppies, long stays who need a break from shelter life, and our animals with treatable medical afflictions who need a place to recover. In addition, by opening your home to an otherwise homeless dog or cat (or both!), you are not only providing an animal a chance to find a forever home, you are also opening the door for another animal to be rescued in their place. Your dedication will be fundamental as we move toward a future where no animals are euthanized for space or treatable conditions.

Beginning October 2019, foster applicants who submit an application will be added to the newly created Rescue Alliance Foster Program that will be shared by our Rescue Alliance Partners including the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter. Click here to learn more about the Rescue Alliance and see the application here for further instructions. After submitting your completed foster application, you will be matched with one or more of our participating Rescue Alliance Partners and will be inducted into their foster program. Don't worry, you will still be benefiting the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter by opening your heart and your home to an eligible rescue animal! Staff or volunteers from an eligible rescue will contact you about becoming a foster for their program. 

Process to Become a Rescue Alliance Foster:

  • Fill out a “Foster Application” by clicking here or on the picture above
  • ​After submitting your application, please contact our foster team at foster@sanmarcostx.gov to inform us that you submitted your application. Staff or volunteers from either the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter or participating Rescue Alliance Partner will review it as soon as possible! Your answer will be reviewed by staff or volunteers; we will forward your completed application to the most applicable rescue group. 

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. 
  • Not all animals are eligible to be fostered. Only animals designated as foster-eligible by the shelter’s Program Coordinator, or those with a special “Foster Me!” sticker, are eligible to be taken home. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.

Foster Guidelines for Participating Rescue Partners:



If you are chosen as a foster for a participating rescue group, the foster policies will be relayed to you by that participating rescue group. To learn about our participating rescue alliance partners, click here.