Is Fostering Right For Me?


Hey, I think I can do this!

  • I have extra time on my hands and i won’t be gone all day.
  • I love animals.
  • I want to save animals from cruelty, neglect, abandonment, and death.
  • I need an exercise partner.
  • I’d like to find out if I want to have a permanent fuzzy kid.
  • I want to teach my (older) children how to care for a pet.
  • I live in the County of Santa Barbara or the City of Ventura.
  • My kids are old enough (over 10) and gentle with animals.

What Does Fostering Mean and How Will It Impact Me?

What exactly does fostering mean? It means bringing a homeless Animal into your home, caring for it, and providing it with affection and socialization until a permanent family comes along who will love it forever.

The benefits of fostering are numerous, and not only a wonderful thing for the Animal and shelter or rescue, but can be beneficial to the one doing the fostering in so many ways!



Animals often come to us in terrible condition. Until those pets are placed in forever homes, they need a safe place to recover from their previous life of abandonment, neglect and/or abuse and injuries. That safe haven, where a lonely, frightened dog or cat can heal their broken heart and learn to trust humans again, or where an abandoned litter can receive the care they need to become strong, happy adults, makes all the difference in these animals life and is critical for their preparation for adoption. You can be the person that makes that happen!

You have a hand in helping make the animal more "adoptable"

While fostering an Animal, you are able to provide exercise and stimulation. In addition, you can work with the dog on leash training, house training, or other basic command training, that potential adopters will find attractive when looking for the perfect dog for their family. Providing your foster dog or cat with their basic needs, taking them to adoption events, meeting and choosing applicants, and helping to advertise on social media will all play a huge part in helping them get adopted!

You have the opportunity to change an animal's future

Shelters and rescues often look to fosters for those Animals who may have endured a difficult past such as abuse, cruelty, neglect, under socialization, etc. As a foster, you have the chance and opportunity to gain an Animal's trust, show them human touch and love perhaps for the first time, provide an environment for them to feel safe, and watch them transform into happy individuals before your eyes.

Fostering can be great for your family

Fellow fosters from the same shelter or rescue will help guide you through the experience, give ideas, answer any questions, and may even become your friends! There is nothing quite like sharing experiences with those who do the same and being part of a community of people who have like passions.

You become part of a wonderful "community"

When the day comes, that your foster finds their perfect home, the rewarding feeling you will experience is something very special. You will feel a sense of pride, in knowing what you helped that dog accomplish in his time with you. You will feel overjoyed, that he has found his forever family and his happy ending that all homeless Animals so desire. And while certainly, some goodbyes can be tough, knowing that an Animal has found his happy ending and that another precious life awaits to be afforded your gifts, is as good of a feeling as there is!

You will make someone's family complete

If you have existing pets, introducing an Animal can be a great experience for them as an additional companion, additional socialization, and an additional playmate! Children can benefit from fostering as a way to introduce responsibility, selflessness, a way to educate about animals, and is also a great way to "test" the idea of a permanent Animal into the home in the future.


We provide (almost) everything

  • Collar and/or harness
  • Leash
  • ID tag
  • Dewormer
  • Toy
  • Blanket
  • Brush
  • Flea and tick prevention
  • Potty pads
  • Treats
  • Food to get you started
  • Crate
  • Playpen ( for puppies or litters)
  • Belly bands/diapers (when necessary)
  • All medical treatments and vaccines
  • Haircuts
  • Foster University
  • Facebook online group
  • Dedicated Spark Rescue foster rep to help you through the process




Thank You for Considering the Lifesaving Act of Becoming a Foster

Fosters truly are the FRONT LINE for these animals & a critical step in saving more lives! Since we have no shelter, our rescue could not exist without you.

A foster home is a temporary living situation for animals while they are awaiting placement in a permanent home. Foster families provide shelter, food, care, love, and guidance. The number of animals we can save depends entirely on the number of people who will open their homes and hearts to foster them. For some of these animals, this will be their first experience being treated as a family pet. You are their salvation and you should never underestimate the important role you are playing in their lives!

Why Foster?

The only way that we can save animals is with the help of foster homes. Being a foster family has rewards beyond the essential value of helping a pet in need find a new home. For some, it is a chance to have an animal companion without making a lifetime commitment, or to try new companions for an existing pet. Foster Care is critical to our rescue efforts, The more homes we have, the more animals we can save. Becoming a foster family is a very rewarding experience, and can be a lot of fun. There are often tears shed when a foster finally finds a home of their own, but knowing you have saved a life and opened up space to save another is truly rewarding.

How Long Can I Expect to Foster a Pet?

Fosters will keep animals an average of 2-8 weeks. Some pets need more time because of age, illness, injury, or behavior issues. Your time commitment will be discussed up-front, before you agree to foster the pet, but it is our hope and our goal for the foster family to keep the animal until the animal gets adopted.

What are the Responsibilities of a Foster Family?

  • Provide a safe, clean, and caring environment for the animal.
  • Provide food, water, exercise and socialization as appropriate.
  • Monitor any medical and/or behavioral problems and provide any medications as directed. (Medicine provided by Spark Rescue.)
  • Assist with transport to/from adoption events.
  • Provide basic grooming (brushing, baths, cleaning ears and eyes).
  • Interview and observe the adoption applicant at your or their home.
  • Advertise the animal on your social media (after it has been posted for adoption).
  • Stay in touch and update the Foster Coordinator and the Adoption Coordinator.

Spark Rescue

Spark Rescue Santa Barbara is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit charity animal rescue organization, founded in February 2014, in Santa Barbara, CA, by Susan Park.

We Provide:
  • Rescue of cats & dogs from kill shelters and from the streets of Southern California
  • Foster homes to provide our rescues with a loving temporary home.
  • Adoption of rescued pets to qualified homes that have been properly screened and counseled by our Adoption Coordinator.
  • Rehoming of pets that are surrendered by owners who can no longer care for them.
Our Mission

Our Mission is to bring adoptable homeless pets that have been abused, abandoned and overbred into our program for social rehabilitation and emotional recovery and re-home them to permanent, loving homes. We hope to educate the public to help end euthanasia in Santa Barbara and Southern California through spaying and neutering and by preventing backyard breeding.

Our Goal

Our Goal is to acquire land and have the ability to rescue and house as many animals as possible. We would like to offer a sanctuary where the animals will be free to roam and socialize, but still be in a family environment. We want a place where potential adopters can come visit our rescues and where volunteers can come together and give the rescues as much love and attention as possible.

So, Change a Life, Save a Life, & Become a Foster Today!


There I sat, alone and afraid,
You got a call and came right to my aid.
You bundled me up with blankets and love,
And, when I needed it most, you gave me a hug.

I learned that the world was not all that scary and cold,
That sometimes there is someone to have and to hold.
You taught me what love is, you helped me to mend,
You loved me and healed me and became my first friend.

And just when I thought you'd done all you do,
There came along not one new lesson, but two.

First you said, "Sweetheart, you're ready to go,
I've done all I can, and you've learned all I know."
Then you bundled me up with a blanket and kiss,
Along came a new family, they even have kids!

They took me to their home, forever to stay,
At first I thought you sent me away.
Then that second lesson became perfectly clear,
No matter how far, you will always be near.

And so, Foster Mom, you know I've moved on,
I have a new home, with toys and a lawn.
But I'll never forget what I learned that first day,
You never really give your fosters away.

You gave me these thoughts to remember you by,
We may never meet again, and now I know why.
You'll remember I lived with you for a time,
I may not be yours, but you'll always be mine.

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